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Gaming Platform Wars | Netflix mobile games testing expands to Spain and Italy after launching in Poland

Recently, Netflix announced its plans for an expansion of its mobile gaming ambitions not long after the company recently hired a former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive, Mark Verdu. A few months ago, Netflix announced that members in Poland could try Netflix mobile gaming on Android, now today mobile games testing has expanded to Spain and Italy.

Stranger Things 3 The Game - Official Trailer

“The rollout continues! Today members in Spain and Italy will see Netflix Games available on their Android phones.” the company announced on its Netflix Geeked twitter account. We’re still in the early stages of our gaming experience.”

Here’s what Netflix subscribers can expect in these regions: Poland, Spain Italy.

  • no ads
  • no in-app purchases
  • games available with a Netflix subscription
  • new ‘Games’ section in the bottom navigation bar

What isn’t entirely clear is how Netflix plans to launch this on iOS. Netflix will not be able to launch a gaming app on iOS nor will it be able to add them into their existing mobile app due to Apple’s restrictions with in-app purchases and Apple will not let competing app/games stores on iOS. The only two avenues would be to release individual games that can be accessed with a Netflix subscription or launch their own cloud gaming service.

Netflix’s expansion into games background

Mike Verdu was previously in charge of working with developers to bring games to Oculus VR devices. Over the course of many weeks, Netflix has approached “veteran game industry executives” to join the company. Netflix has dabbled in the game industry with the game “Stanger Things” that it worked on with an outside developer, but the company may be looking to make serious investments in one of the most lucrative tech categories. Netflix already has published and produced many “games” like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Minecraft Story Mode and have produced many game adaptations into TV shows like the popular The Witcher series and Castlevania.

Nvidia Shield with prominent Netflix branding

One option being discussed is a subscription model similar to Apple Arcade where you subscribe to play a “bundle of games.” Netflix’s official statement is, “Our members value the variety and quality of our content. It’s why we’ve continually expanded our offering – from series to documentaries, film, local language originals and reality TV. Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love – through interactive shows like Bandersnatch and You v. Wild, or games based on Stranger Things, La Casa de Papel and To All the Boys. So, we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment.”

Today’s news is Netflix’s first step into testing a potential gaming service on at least Android. How Netflix will create a similar experience on iOS remains to be seen.

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.