Netflix launches its first mobile games

Netflix launches its first mobile games

In this photo illustration the Netflix logo in the App Store seen displayed on a smartphone screen.

Rafael Henrique | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Netflix started rolling out its mobile games on Tuesday, pushing the streaming giant into a new business as it looks for additional ways to gain and keep subscribers.

Subscribers have the option of playing five different games on the app, including “Stranger Things: 1984,” “Stranger Things 3: The Game,” “Shooting Hoops,” “Card Blast” and ‘Teeter Up.” The games will first launch for Android phones before they come to iPhones.

The games are available in the Netflix app.

Netflix has been working to go beyond its traditional film and show offerings in an effort to grab more user attention and add value to the service. Netflix pointed to the game “Fortnite” as competition in its shareholder letter in 2019. Earlier this summer, it hired video-game executive Mike Verdu from Facebook, where he was vice president of augmented reality and virtual reality content.

The games are included with Netflix subscriptions and will not include advertisements or in-app purchases. While Netflix said it will build games as a standalone product that competes with other services, executives hope popular characters or games may be able to help with video content decisions in the future. For example, if the company recognizes a character is played in a game more often or one game does better than another, it could push the character or show to be featured more.

“Maybe someday we’ll see a game that spawns a film or a series,” Netflix chief operating officer and chief product officer Greg Peters said earlier this summer. “That would be an amazing place to get to, to really see the rich interplay between these different forms of entertainment.”

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