netflix is launching mobile games for ios users

Netflix is launching its mobile games for iOS users across the world, about a week after its Android debut.

At launch, the video streaming major will offer a lineup of five mobile games to its paid members. This includes casual games such as Frosty Pop’s Shooting Hoops and Teeter Up, puzzle card game Card Blast from Amuzo and Rogue Games, and mobile games based on its shows such as Stranger Things (Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3: The Game from BonusXP). These games will be bundled with the user’s existing membership at no extra cost.

Netflix is using a similar approach for its iOS rollout that you see on the company’s Android app, except for one key difference: The iOS app will not have a dedicated games tab where one could browse the catalog and select the game of their choice to download.

This is because of Apple’s app store policies. The company told TechCrunch it was not clear whether a gaming tab could violate these rules since Apple bans apps that offer their own “app stores”, and hence launched without the feature. However, it said if there is more clarity around this rule in the future, the service may offer the Games tab on its iOS app.

The rules allows services to offer a catalog app to help users sign up for the service, as long as each game title has an individual App Store product page. Apple said this will enable them to review each game title separately.

Therefore, Netflix’s iOS users will see a dedicated games row within the app from where one can select any game to download. Following this, they are redirected to the App Store for installation and use their Netflix credentials to start playing the game. These games will not appear on kids profiles.

The games will also be ad-free with no in-app purchases or any additional fee and users will be able to play them on multiple mobile devices through the same account.

Gaming is Netflix’s first big content push beyond television shows and movies. In July, the company’s chief operating officer and product officer Greg Peters had termed its gaming push as a “multi-year effort” and they are going to start “relatively small”.

During the company’s Q3 earnings conference call in October 2021, Peters said that they will be experimenting with various types of games including licensed and partner-produced games, quite similar to television shows and movies. Netflix will also build up internal game development capabilities, he said.

The streaming giant had acquired its first games studio in September with the purchase of ‘Night School Studio’, a game developer best known for the supernatural mystery graphic adventure title Oxenfree.

“This will be one of the tools that we use and we’ll use it opportunistically when we find a great opportunity out there. So don’t expect us to go on a tearing buying spree,” he said.

Last week, Netflix’s VP for game development Mike Verdu had said that they intend to design games for “any level of play and every kind of player”, whether the user is a beginner or an avid gamer.

On November 9, Riot Games’ publishing label Riot Forge announced that its upcoming title ‘Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story’ will also be available soon on Netflix Games.

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