Netflix announced via Twitter that it would begin implementation of its Netflix Games service on Android devices. It launches with five games and features “no ads, no additional fees and no in-app purchases”.
The five games the service is launching with are Stranger Things: 1984, Stranger Things 3, Shooting Hoops, Card Blast, and Teeter Up. While this lineup of games leans on name recognition and basic game types, all Netflix subscribers have access to them at no extra cost.
At first blush, this would seem like an Apple Arcade-type service with a more convenient subscription tie-in via the regular Netflix sub. But Apple Arcade launched with some real powerhouse games like Grindstone and Card of Darkness. If Netflix Games is going to grow into something worth playing, it needs to bring the games.
Still, Netflix did spearhead the successful interactive experience Bandersnatch. It needs to tap into that innovation if it wants to compete in the games space and have more than licensed games and easy-to-recognize archetypes. Netflix needs something to stand apart, some truly creative games to reel people in. Right now the offering is wanting.
There are hints that Netflix Games could turn into something worth paying attention to. They recently acquired Oxenfree developer Night School Studio. And it’s not like the service doesn’t have a ton of game-adjacent content already, with The Witcher, Riot’s Arcane, and Castlevania shows all gracing the platform.
Netflix Arcade is available now for all Netflix subscribers on Android and is coming to iOS soon.