The gaming industry is about to go through a huge shift as Netflix makes its gaming debut.


Today, the streaming giant released five mobile games on its app – Stranger Things: 1984 (BonusXP), Stranger Things 3: The Game (BonusXP), Shooting Hoops (Frosty Pop), Card Blast (Amuzo & Rogue Games), and Teeter Up (Frosty Pop).

Netflix's Game Development VP Mike Verdu 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."

The games can be accessed with a regular Netflix subscription, from multiple mobile devices, at no extra cost.

Speaking of the unprecedented move, Dr Jo Twist OBE – who is CEO of Ukie (a non-profit trade association for the video game industry in the United Kingdom) – told exclusively: “Netflix’s entry into games is another sign of how appealing and culturally significant games are as a storytelling medium.

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"It demonstrates the strength and confidence that major brands have in a sector which is redefining entertainment, while also opening up valuable new ways for game makers to reach fans across the world.”

Though Netflix's foray into the gaming landscape is certainly a testament to the industry's appeal, others have expressed concerns about what it could mean in the long term.

The unprecedented move has been labelled a "shot across the bows to game developers globally" by Aaron Simpson, chairman of Kindred for Business, the next-generation app monetisation network.

Simpson explained that “engaging and retaining players was already a challenge and with the arrival of Netflix, that challenge has just got even greater".

Netflix games iOS release date for iPhone and iPad

He added: “Giants like Netflix don’t have the commercial conundrum of other gaming studios, as many households have already come to see a Netflix subscription as just another utility bill.

“Now more than ever, mobile gaming studios need to rethink their relationships with players and the way they monetise them.

“Increasingly, it feels like the days of in-app purchases and advertising, both of which negatively impact the UX for players, are drawing to a close. Game developers need to look at new ways to monetise their players, and fast.”

Netflix's Gaming VP teased that the streamer is "in the early days of creating a great gaming experience", indicating that this is only the beginning of what could be a much larger gaming output going forward.

The launch of two Stranger Things games also suggests Netflix will continue to mine its expansive catalogue of originals for new gaming content, potentially adding a whole new, interactive layer to viewers' experience.

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