Netflix launches games for iPhone and iPad users around the world – TechCrunch
Last week, Netflix launched its first line of mobile games for Android users around the world. Today, games are spreading to users on iOS. The lineup, which includes two “Stranger Things” games and a few other casual game titles, will be delivered to iOS users the same way they are on Android. That is, they are not streamed from the cloud, but actually installed on users’ phones or tablets directly from the App Store.
With the launch of Android, Netflix introduced a new “Games” tab in the app where users could browse the catalog and find a game they wanted to play. But to actually play the game, they would be directed to the Google Play Store to install the game on their device. On first launch, users would then log into the game with their Netflix credentials.
Netflix says it uses a similar system with the launch of Netflix games on iPhone and iPad. Except now users are directed to Apple’s App Store for downloads, not Google Play. The games will also require users to authenticate with their Netflix membership information in order to start playing.
The company believes this system complies with Apple’s App Store rules, which were changed last year to be more permissive when it comes to gaming apps.
Although updated in response to the growing number of cloud gaming services, Apple’s policy says developers are allowed to offer a centralized app that provides its subscribers with access to a game catalog, provided that each title in this catalog has its own dedicated application. List of stores. Apple said it would allow it to review each game title separately. The system was actually developed by the subscription gaming service GameClub, as a way to offer a wider selection of classic game titles that were only playable by its members.
However, there is a difference between the iOS implementation of Netflix games and how the system works on Android.
Netflix Android users have their own dedicated “Games” tab in the app navigation, but iOS users do not. Instead, iPhone members will only see a dedicated line of games in the app where they can select any game to download. Meanwhile, iPad members will see the row (pinned at position 6) and be able to access the games from the category drop-down menu.
The company told TechCrunch that while Apple has been a great partner on Netflix games, it was not entirely clear to Netflix whether a game tab would collide with another App Store policy, which prohibits applications that offer their own “application stores”. Since Netflix does not believe the tab is essential in order to deliver the gaming experience to iOS users, it made the decision to go without it. However, if the company manages to clarify this rule in the future, it may be able to add a Games tab to its iOS app like the one currently available on Android.
At launch, the range of games remains the same as on Android. This includes two BonusXP titles, “Stranger Things: 1984” and “Stranger Things 3: The Game”; as well as two tracks from Frosty Pop, “Teeter” and “Shooting Hoops; And a title from Rogue Games, “Card Blast”. The first two games are spinoffs from the popular Netflix show, “Stranger Things,” but the last three are just occasional titles.
Longer term, Netflix plans to expand this catalog with more additions and genres of games. For example, the company acquired indie game developer Night School Studio, best known for narrative titles such as “Oxenfree,” in September to further develop its Netflix game library.
Netflix has explained its interest in games as another way to entertain and retain subscribers, not a way to generate direct revenue from the games themselves. Right now, the games are free to download, ad-free, and don’t include any in-app purchases. The company said that as its catalog grows, it could apply its same recommendation algorithms to suggest new games to mobile users, instead of just TV shows and movies.
“We see games as another category of content for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted television,” Netflix’s letter to shareholders said in Q2 2021, adding that the The company’s initial focus would be on free games designed for mobile devices. “With we’re almost a decade into our push into original programming, we think the time has come to learn more about how our members enjoy games,” Netflix said.