Despite facing stiff competition from the likes of Disney and Amazon, Netflix has retained its crown as the most popular streaming service on the planet. Not only does it have the largest library of original shows and movies, but it is also keen on exploring newer avenues.
Although still at the top, Netflix is not satisfied with its growth, which is reportedly making them think about getting into the gaming industry. They are already trying out some ideas in minimum-risk zones and could push for more in the near future. Today, we will talk in length about the inroads Netflix is making in the gaming industry and hopefully give you an idea of what is to come from the streaming giants. Now without further ado, let us get to it.
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Why did Netflix get into gaming?
In 2018, Netflix released a new movie called Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. This was Netflix’s first attempt at delivering an interactive full-length movie where users on the other end of the screen could take key decisions and watch the story unravel as per their choices. Although it was not a full-fledged game, it was a good attempt at bridging the gap between a game and a movie. Inspired by the success of the title, Netflix now offers Minecraft: Story Mode, and Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal alongside Bandersnatch on Netflix.
Last month — July 2021 — Netflix got former EA Mobile executive, Mike Verdu, onboard, giving him the responsibility of overseeing Netflix’s newest gaming division. The company aims to bring some original playable titles to the platform as soon as next year.
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How does gaming work on Netflix
As we all know, Netflix is rather good at throwing great content at us. It has an articulate mobile app, and the categories are carefully chosen to cater to our needs. Netflix is hoping to take the same approach with gaming, meaning you will find the gaming categories, recommended titles, and more inside the Netflix app itself. The streaming giant has assured that the games will have no ads and will be available for free for subscribers.
Currently, Netflix gaming — two Stranger Things titles — is only available to subscribers in Poland who use an Android device. So, after you get the games inside the app, you will have to tap on it and it will take you straight to the Google Play Store, where you will be able to download the app on your device. After it is downloaded to your device, you will have to launch and enter your Netflix credentials. After it verifies, you will get to enjoy the applications in all their glory.
Netflix’s gaming division is still only a couple of titles old, but it is already working with renowned gaming studio Telltale Games to bring more Stranger Things titles to your mobile device. We are certain that there will be other games to come out eventually and all of them would be inspired by popular Netflix originals.
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Which countries are getting Netflix gaming?
Netflix is still in its infancy when it comes to gaming. So, the streaming giant is taking it particularly slow, meaning the gaming feature is not yet available in popular regions like the United States, United Kingdom, or India. Only Netflix subscribers in Poland have access to the two gaming titles Netflix has launched, and it would be a while before others can jump on the bandwagon.
What games can you play games on Netflix?
After months of testing, Netflix has started rolling out Netflix games for Android users. As of now, only two titles are available, both being from the house of Netflix hit series Stranger Things. Stranger Things 1984 and Stranger Things 3 are the first titles to drop on Netflix. Stranger Things 1984 lets you solve puzzles and collect Eggos as you go along. Stranger Things 3, on the other hand, is a companion application for the third season of the hit show. If you like local zombie-shooting Co-Op titles, Stranger Things 3 will totally meet your needs. Both games are available for free inside the app.
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How to find games on Netflix
Netflix is treating games as a new corner of their application; it does not require you to download a separate app for gaming. While browsing through the ‘Home’ tab, you will find a ‘Play Mobile Games’ section, under which all the newly-released Netflix titles would be listed. Tapping on it would take you to its description page, where you can tap on ‘Install Game’ to get the game from Google Play Store.
Are the games streamed or downloaded to the device?
Once you tap on the Netflix game you like, it will take you to the linked Google Play Store page. You will need to download the game to your mobile — similar to any other application you download — and then play after logging in. This means that games are not merely streaming to your Android smartphone. These titles are developed by Netflix studios and are distributed as standalone games that you can download to your mobile. Additionally, you can even find these games separately on the Google Play Store and download them without opening the Netflix app.
Unlike Google Stadia, Netflix does not offer game streaming. You will have to download it to your Android device and can only play on the device.
Can you play Netflix games on your computer?
As we have mentioned, Netflix gaming has gone live in Poland and only for Android users. Netflix intends to focus solely on mobile gaming at this point and has not even introduced the same for iOS devices. So, the companies focus would be to roll out gaming to iOS users as well before even thinking about computer or console gaming.
Netflix gaming is set to go live sometime next year. And when it does, it will be mobile exclusive only. PC or console users are not at the top of Netflix’s priority list right now.
Is Netflix gaming a paid service?
Currently, in Poland, Netflix is not asking for an additional dime from subscribed users. And Netflix assures that gaming will be an ad-free service for the foreseeable future with no added cost. All you need is a paid Netflix account to log in with your credentials and then enjoy the game to your heart’s content. As of now, it is available to all Netflix users, irrespective of the tier of plan you are subscribed to.
However, since Netflix is adding a new aspect to their service, do not be alarmed if Netflix moves the feature to an all-inclusive, extra premium subscription tier. Although rest assured, all of this will take considerable planning and it will be a while before Netflix makes gaming chargeable on its platform.
Can non-Netflix users play these games?
No, you cannot play any of the current or upcoming Netflix games without having an active subscription. All of Netflix’s games require you to enter your Netflix ID before hitting the Play button.
Streaming is the most hotly-contested segment in the entertainment industry. It is indeed true that Netflix is the undisputed king of streaming, but it cannot afford to be complacent. We believe the push for gaming is meant to bring light mobile gamers under Netflix’s umbrella, tapping into an unexplored section of the market. So, it makes sense why Netflix is making its games exclusive to its subscribers.
Also, if this model takes off, we believe many other streaming services could also push to make gaming an integral part of their experience.
How much internet do Netflix games use?
The two games Netflix have launched so far are not demanding and do not require much data. As per our estimate, for an hour of gameplay, you are likely to lose anywhere between 50MB and 150MB of data, which is not even comparable to the amount of data an hour of streaming consumes. For HD streaming, you are looking at something close to 3GB, whereas 4K streaming would be over twice as much.