Netflix takes first step into mobile gaming with Poland launch

27 Aug 2021

Image: Netflix Poland

Android users in the country can now download two mobile games through the Netflix app.

Netflix has begun a limited launch of a mobile gaming service to subscribers in Poland.

Android users in the country can download two pre-existing games, Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3 through the Netflix app, the company announced in a tweet.

The games, based on the hit Netflix show, have been available as standalone apps since 2017 and 2019, respectively. The latter was also released on PC and consoles. Both games were, under a licensing agreement, developed by BonusXP and published by Netflix.

The company’s Twitter post noted that it’s “very early days” in terms of Netflix mobile gaming and that there’s “a lot of work to do in the months ahead, but this is the first step”.

The games are downloaded through the Netflix Android app via the Google Play Store rather than streamed, and require users to sign in with their Netflix account to play.

The streaming service confirmed last month that it’s beginning to expand into gaming after months of speculation and headhunting executives with game development experience.

It said that its initial focus would be on mobile gaming and that games will be available to existing subscribers at no extra cost, and won’t include ads or microtransactions.

The company hired Mike Verdu, previously of Oculus and EA, as vice-president of game development in July. It is not yet clear if Verdu will be overseeing in-house development or contracting out game production.

In order to boost its internal TV and movie production capabilities, Netflix has in the past purchased entire studios.

A recent opinion piece in Bloomberg argued that in order to compete in the gaming sector, Netflix will need to purchase a major games studio such as CD Projekt, developer of The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin