Netflix wants you to bring your gaming mode now. We’re not talking about Squid Game that has dominated discussions at pubs, Zoom calls and also Halloween costumes this year. The streaming major has now expanded its offering to include games. No kidding.
It should come as no surprise:
Rumours around Netflix’s gaming foray have been doing the rounds for a while. The company’s competition is no longer just Hotstar or Amazon Prime but also gaming platforms. Gaming revenues (both on-the-go and at-home gaming) have spiked in a post-pandemic world. According to Statista’s Digital Market Outlook, digital gaming revenue hit $134 billion worldwide last year. That’s more than the combined total for digital video, music and publishing. In 2019 the company claimed that the battle against gaming giants like Fortnite was tougher than competing with HBO. And watch out, Netflix isn’t just competing for your screen time, they also famously said in 2017 that sleep is their biggest enemy.
What’s on offer:
Netflix has rolled out five games in phase one. We tried out Stranger Things: 1984 as well Shooting Hoops and Teeter Up from Frosty Pop. The other three games include Stranger Things 3: The Game from BonusXP, Card Blast from Amuzo and Rogue Games. This a promising start, the gameplay is quite impressive too.
How can you grab them:
For starters, you will need to be a Netflix subscriber with the Netflix App on your smartphone or tablet. Do make sure it’s an updated version of the App. Netflix rolled out the games first on Android before launching them on iOS devices this week. You will see a games icon on your Android device that leads you to the choice of 5 games. You will be redirected to the Play Store where you can download them to your device. While I spotted this gaming icon on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, I couldn’t find the games icon on my iPad. I was able to find the games in the App Store that were linked back to my Netflix profile. Netflix has locked kids profiles out of these games.
Netflix has pitched its membership as an all-access pass. It’s free for Netflix subscribers. There’s no ads, in-app purchases or additional fees. Netflix has already launched Fast Laughs – short vertical videos for mobile devices, and has also started testing Kids Clip, to lure young adults on to their platform. As Netflix puts it, “let the games begin”. We can’t wait for game versions of Squid Games, Dark and Money Heist.