This evolution of gaming-meets-streaming aligns with the rising demand for interactive and immersive entertainment that’s frictionlessly integrated into existing media experiences (see Enhanced Entertainment: Cloud Gaming, AR & Social Viewing in The Next Act for Streaming Entertainment for more insight).
Netflix made its first foray into the gaming world in 2021, with titles available to all subscribers via its iOS app on handheld devices (see The Brief). Since then, the streaming giant has introduced 70 mobile titles. As of August 14, subscribers in Canada and the UK can play spooky supernatural thriller Oxenfree (from Night School Studio – the first video-game developer acquired by Netflix in 2021) and gem-mining arcade game Molehew’s Mining Adventure on select TVs and PCs.
Desktop and laptop players will use a standard keyboard control system, while those on TVs can use the Netflix Game Controller mobile app, launched this month. After downloading, the Netflix Game Controller scans a QR code displayed on the Netflix app on the TV, establishing a link to the game.
Netflix's gaming engagement has so far been limited – in 2022, fewer than 1% of its 238.39 million global subscribers showed interest in the streaming platform's mobile games (TechCrunch, 2022). Broadening the gaming option to TVs and computers should garner more engagement by facilitating easier migration between gaming and content streaming, pushing Netflix further towards providing the interoperability promised by cloud gaming.