The panorama: Netflix announced that it is beginning the first public tests of its foray into gaming. Subscribers from Poland can currently try two games on Android at no additional cost. This is certainly a small first step, but also a clue to how Netflix plans to eventually build its gaming side at scale.
A tweet from the official Netflix account “NetflixGeeked” made the ad that Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3 games are available to Android users who have Netflix subscriptions in Poland, with no ads or in-app purchases. “It is very, very early and we have a lot of work to do in the coming months, but this is the first step,” Netflix writes.
Last month, Netflix confirmed that its first steps into video games would be mobile and would not cost anything extra besides the current streaming subscription. The company plans to treat games as a new category, like the movies and TV shows it already produces. Netflix may only be testing mobile games right now, but last month some data mining operations in the Netflix app turned up information related to the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller and Sony’s own Ghost of Tsushima.
Let’s talk about Netflix and games.
Today, members in Poland can try Netflix mobile games on Android with two games, Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3. It’s very, very early and we have a lot of work to do in the coming months, but this is the first step. https://t.co/yOl44PGY0r
– Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) August 26, 2021
Earlier this month, TradeSmith, looking at Netflix job openings, speculated the company is already trying to build its own game studios instead of buying them. Job listings show Netflix is already trying recruit for a development study. “This strategy is important because there is no threat that the company will need to issue new debt or take a hit when buying a company and consuming its cash position,” TradeSmith said.
However, Netflix’s opening for a producer indicate he wants to work with outside studios and continue to license his own properties to other developers, as he did with Stranger Things 3 developer BonusXP.
Amazon has had trouble getting into games. Its next MMO New World is finally about to enter open beta, but this comes after many more failures in the company’s gaming initiative. Netflix’s testing with mobile games indicates that it might be planning to start small rather than trying to build AAA games from scratch.