Beginning Tuesday, Netflix’s movie and television streaming app adds video games to the mix with a lineup that includes previously released action-adventure spin-offs Stranger Things: 1984 (formerly known as Stranger Things: The Game) and Stranger Things 3: The Game.
“Whether you’re craving a casual game you can start from scratch or an immersive experience that lets you dig deeper into your favourite stories, we want to begin to build a library of games that offers something for everyone,” Mike Verdu, Netflix vice president of game development, said. “We’re in the early days of creating a great gaming experience, and we’re excited to take you on this journey with us.”
This initial Netflix Games lineup — which also includes Shooting Hoops, Teeter Up, and the service’s lone newcomer, Card Blast — is available via Android devices (no word on iOS at the moment) for everyone with an active Netflix subscription. In the announcement, Verdu further promises “no ads, no additional fees, and no in-app purchases,” but we’ll see how long that lasts.
Initial inklings of Netflix’s official foray into gaming came over the summer when Bloomberg first reported on the streaming platform hiring Verdu away from his previous gig as Facebook’s vice president of virtual reality content. Since then, Netflix has been open about its plans to provide subscribers with an ad-free gaming experience and even acquired the folks behind Oxenfree and Afterparty, Los Angeles-based developer Night School Studio, this past September.
“Night School wants to stretch our narrative and design aspirations across distinctive, original games with heart,” Night School co-founder Sean Krankel said at the time. “Netflix gives film, TV, and now game makers an unprecedented canvas to create and deliver excellent entertainment to millions of people. Our explorations in narrative gameplay and Netflix’s track record of supporting diverse storytellers was such a natural pairing. It felt like both teams came to this conclusion instinctively.”
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is currently in development for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, and PC. Neither this sequel nor Night School Studio itself was mentioned in today’s Netflix announcement.