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Netflix launches first smartphone games on Android devices

Five games are available on Android phones for Netflix users, with plans to roll it out to iOS devices in the coming months

By Hollie Geraghty

Netflix Games logo
Netflix has launched five new games including 'Stranger Things: 1984’ and 'Shooting Hoops'. (Photo: Netflix).

Netflix has launched its first games on smartphones as it looks to break into the game subscription market.

Launched yesterday (November 2), five mobile games are available on Android phones for Netflix users, with plans to roll it out to iOS devices in the coming months.

The five mobile games currently available are: ‘Stranger Things: 1984’, ‘Stranger Things 3: The Game’, ‘Card Blast’, ‘Teeter Up’ and ‘Shooting Hoops’.

“While this is just the beginning of a long journey, we’re excited to provide a gaming experience that is differentiated from what is available today – exclusive mobile games with no ads, no in-app payments, included with your Netflix membership,” Netflix said in a statement. 

“Whether you’re craving a casual game you can start from scratch, or an immersive experience that lets you dig deeper into your favourite stories, we want to begin to build a library of games that offers something for everyone,” wrote head of game development Mike Verdu.

Gaming developer veteran Verdu has previously worked at EA and Facebook, where he worked on augmented and virtual reality projects.

The games will also be available to Netflix users with Android tablets, and will feature in a new games row in the Categories drop down menu. 

Netflix told TechCrunch that while games are visible in the Google Play Store now, rollout to the Netflix Android app will begin today (November 3). The rollout could take several days until it is available to all global Netflix users.

There are no plans to monetize the games yet, and are currently free to download, with hopes it will grow and maintain subscribers.

Netflix COO and Chief Product Officer Gregory Peters had previously said the “vast majority” of Netflix subscribers use the service on a mobile phone.

Earlier this year Netflix also launched a video feed of short comedy videos called “Fast Laughs” similar to TikTok.

During Netflix’s Q3 earnings call Peters spoke of seeing potential to “personalize suggestions of games to play to its members, the way its algorithms today suggest new movies and shows to watch.”

“The same thing that’s made our service very powerful for recommending movies and TV shows,” he continued, “connecting great content creators to this audience – that’s the capability that we need to build on the game side now, as well.”