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Netflix gets into Gaming

Posted 27.08.21

Netflix has made the pivot into gaming. In a move first announced in July, the global streaming platform has taken its first foray into gaming with the launch of not one but two Stranger Things themed games, available as part of an initial test to Android users in Poland.

In what is the platform’s first official move into gaming it’s no surprise Netflix looked to capitalize on the interest around Stranger Things. The show is one of the most-watched on Netflix and there has been a clamour from fans for more content since Season 3 launched back in July of 2019. With Season 4 not slated until next year these two games, once rolled out globally, may satisfy some fans’ desire for more of the Upside Down in the interim.

With Netflix placing ever greater emphasis on its original programming, to compete with Disney who has shot out the gate since launching back in late 2019 and is now directly competing with Netflix for attention across the globe, it makes sense for the brand to focus on gaming as a way of adding additional value to their original content and for many enriching the viewing experience with games that can develop the narrative and characters beyond the realm of the original show.

Interestingly Netflix is not looking to monetise the games themselves and see this as purely an opportunity for fans to engage more deeply with a show and its characters or for new audiences to experience a show in a gaming experience. Initially, the games will appear in a tab on the Netflix subscribers profile, entitled “Play Mobile Games” which will then redirect viewers to the Google Play store, though in time it is envisioned that the games will be more closely integrated within the Netflix app experience.

Finding new ways to engage viewers and enrich the viewing experience is a smart bet for Netflix and potentially tapping a younger more game-hungry viewer ensures they stay relevant for a core youth demographic. It also doesn’t deviate from its core business. That said, Netflix is set to develop more games, based on their own original programming, licensing other IP, and even creating standalone games.

What we have seen here is a first, tentative, step into gaming from Netflix expect them in the months and years to follow to make an even greater leap into this space.

Tom Jarvis – Founder & CEO

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