In July of this year, Netflix announced its intentions to extend one of its tentacles to the video game sector with the hiring of its first executive focused exclusively on that area. In a first phase, the company planned to make mobile games available to its subscribers without advertising and at no additional cost.
Thus, in August the first Netflix games arrived in Poland and just over a month later five titles arrived in Spain: Stranger Things: 1984, Stranger Things 3: The Game, Card blast, Teeter Up and Shooting Hoops. Although the move to the world of videogames expands the portfolio of the streaming, the integration of the games has not been what was expected in the beginning.
“Like our shows and movies, all of these games will be included as part of your Netflix membership, all with no ads and no in-app purchases,” Netflix said when it announced its new service. However, and despite the fact that we need a Netflix account to be able to play the available titles, these are downloaded from the Google Play Store as if they were a app most offered by any developer.
The only difference is that, in addition to the mandatory membership, Netflix shows us a section in its app called Mobile Games. If you click on any of the titles the app It redirects you to the Google store to download it to your phone.
In short, Netflix games are developed by them, but they are not integrated into their platform as such.
Netflix released its games in select territories and only for Android devices; this is also a point against them, because if you have an iPhone you will not be able to enjoy any of them. In addition, when we see the format with which Netflix works its games, it is quite clear to us that these will not even remotely reach Apple phones or tablets.
Why? Because those of Cupertino do not usually offer downloads outside of their control and directly prohibit external applications from providing anything that may bypass their payment system; in this case, the games can be enjoyed because you pay a fee to Netflix. So unless Netflix integrates games (for real) into its app or pay Apple a portion of the income derived from the use of their games, this will not happen.
Ideally, Netflix would allow subscribers to play their titles on streaming through your application and without having to install them. It is still too early to know if those of Reed Hastings will make changes in this regard or even if they plan to make the leap to other platforms such as consoles, but what is clear is that at least for now they continue to take steps forward to try.
Proof of this is that on September 28 (the same day it launched its five games in several European countries) Netflix announced that it had acquired the video game developer Night School Studio.