Netflix Now Lets You Play Video Games for Some Reason

Netflix Now Lets You Play Video Games for Some Reason
Photo: Florence Ion/Gizmodo

If you’re an Android user and a Netflix subscriber, your login credentials now officially double as a pass to access five new games the streaming platform began rolling out this week as part of its quest to find and keep new subscribers.

As of Tuesday, Android users around the world will see tap a new ‘Games’ tab within the Netflix app, which redirects them to the Google Play store. Once they’ve downloaded the games — which currently include Stranger Things: 1984Stranger Things 3: The Game, Shooting HoopsCard Blast, and Teeter Up — they’ll be prompted for Netflix login info in order to access them like regular apps.

Although mobile gaming seems like a space ripe for a monetisation gimmick, Netflix isn’t charging anything for the new content, instead insisting that the gaming tab exists solely to lure in users as it jockeys to hold onto its streaming crown.

“The strategic priority is to meet our members where they’re at,” Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief product officer and chief operating officer, recently told investors. “The vast majority of our members engage with us on a mobile device. We want to make sure that when they’re at that moment, and sometimes that’s when they’re out and about, that they have the opportunity to get a great Netflix experience with their mobile phone.”

Photo: Florence Ion/Gizmodo Photo: Florence Ion/Gizmodo

To that end, Netflix has been getting clever in recent months: In addition to the new game offerings, which Netflix first began testing with Polish users back in August, the platform also recently unveiled a TikTok-style infinite scroll of short comedy content called “Fast Laughs.”

Although Netflix’s current roster of games is still short, the streaming service has been deliberate in its attempts to manoeuvre further into the gaming space in recent months. In September, the platform acquired the indie game developer Night School Studio, which has a couple of hits under its belt: 2019’s Afterparty takes place in a college town in hell, and 2016’s Oxenfree is a mystery game that follows a teen girl’s supernatural island adventure.