The market for mobile gaming has been steadily growing ever since Apple introduced App Store for iPhones back in July 2008. In the last few years, major tech giants noticed a possibility there – they started offering access to libraries of games for a monthly fee.
Let’s be clear, this market, though still relatively young, is already very competitive. There is Apple Arcade, from Apple, Microsoft’s Game Pass, and Stadia (Google). Each of them is, on average, two years old.
Just in two years, Stadia, Game Pass, and Apple Arcade expanded their libraries exponentially, with Microsoft leading the industry. So, how does Netflix Games stack up to the competitors? Let’s take a look.
Although Netflix’s latest service seems to be attractive to many users worldwide, it’s only available to a handful of them at the moment.
Netflix Games began testing in August this year, and users in Poland were lucky to try the new service first. In Fall, Netflix expanded to other countries, including Spain and Italy.
For the time being, Netflix Games is available only for android users globally, who can already enjoy brand new games on their phones. According to Netflix, Apple consumers will need to wait a little longer.
Netflix claims its new service will come with no additional fees and no in-app purchases while preserving Netflix’s premium feel – no-add experience.
As of November 3, the catalog of games is poor. However, Netflix didn’t come empty-handed. There are five games available for android users – two Stranger Things (Netflix’s original series, which premiered in 2016) titles and three indie games.
Though, for now, the service can’t boast about a wide range of games—like they can with tv-series and movies on their streaming platform—Mike Verdi, Netflix Vice President for game development, already assured more titles would be coming in the upcoming months.
How to play?
Since the new service is accessible only for android users, you won’t find a guide on how to play Netflix games on iOS.
There are two ways to download shiny new games on your android mobile device: via the Netflix app and Google Play Store.
After updating Netflix app to the latest version, you’ll notice a new tab at the bottom called “Games.” There, you can browse the catalog, read descriptions, see pictures and even watch previews of gameplay. When you’re ready to download, you’ll be redirected to the Google Play Store page, where you’ll be asked to click on the download button.
When you’d like to download games via Google Play Store, search for “Netflix Games,” and you should see something like this.
Unfortunately, iOS and iPadOS users will need to wait a little while. According to Netflix, Netflix Games will be coming to iOS “in the coming months.”
Given Apple’s history with other companies trying to omit App Store’s strict rules, Netflix Games may not be coming to iOS at all. Just a couple of months ago, Apple banned Microsoft’s Game Pass app from the App Store.
Apple has a strict policy over what apps get accepted to the App Store and which do not. For instance, developers cannot make apps that make it possible to download apps outside of the App Store. The only way of installing apps on iOS is via App Store. However, other companies, such as Google, came out with another solution after their gaming service was rejected on the same basis.
The answer is pretty simple – a browser. Yes, that’s right. Technically speaking, developers can “publish” their apps on the web and make them available under their domain name. Though available on android as an app, iPhone users can access Google’s gaming service only via the web.
Even though the chances of Netflix succeeding in publishing their Gaming app on the App Store are pretty slim, there is another solution. So don’t worry, iPhone friends, Netflix Games, will be available on your devices someday either way.
Netflix Games became available to all android users on November 3 with a small catalog of games. Netflix promised more new titles to come in the upcoming weeks. The service comes with no additional fees or in-app purchases and ads, so the premium feel of Netflix continues to be reflected here as well. We expect Netflix yet to announce the app for iOS users, which in my opinion won’t be coming at all.