Netflix starts rolling out mobile games to all Android subscribers

iOS users will get access to the first batch of games later.


Netflix is taking a big step forward with its gaming ambitions. Starting today, all subscribers can play five mobile games on Android devices at no extra cost by downloading them from the Google Play store on phones and tablets. The games will be available through the Netflix app starting on November 3rd as part of a gradual rollout. As for iOS users, they can access the games at a later date.

In August, Netflix started testing games in its Android app in Poland with Stranger Things 1984 and Stranger Things 3. The test expanded to Spain and Italy the following month with three other casual games — Shooting Hoops, Teeter Up and Card Blast — none of which are connected to Netflix shows or movies.

The games have no ads or in-app purchases. You can access them on your phone or tablet by going to the games section of the app's homepage or through the games tab. Once you select a game, you can download it from the Google Play Store or (soon) the App Store, and play it via the Netflix app.

Games will default to the preferred language in your Netflix profile. However, if a game isn't yet available in that language, it will default to English. Some games will work offline too.

Everyone with a profile on a Netflix account can play the games without the need for a separate subscription. However, the games aren't available on kids profiles. Users who have set up a PIN to prevent access to adult profiles will need to enter their code to play games too.

After experimenting with interactive shows and movies over the last few years, Netflix has made it clear it's eager to gain a bigger foothold in gaming. During its Q2 earnings call in July, the company said its most serious gaming push to date would start on mobile.

Netflix says the initial batch of five titles are just the beginning of its gaming aspirations. In September, the company bought a game studio for the first time in the form of Oxenfree developer Night School Studio.

"Just like our series, films and specials, we want to design games for any level of play and every kind of player, whether you’re a beginner or a lifelong gamer," Mike Verdu, Netflix vice president of game development, wrote in a blog post.

Update 11/2 2:15PM ET: Clarifying the rollout timeline on Android.