Netflix begins testing mobile games in its Android app in Poland – TechCrunch

Netflix today announcement it will start testing mobile games in its Android app for its members in Poland. At launch, paid subscribers will be able to try out two games, “Stranger Things: 1984” and “Stranger Things 3” – titles that were previously available on the Apple App Store, Google Play and, in the case of the last version. more recent. , on other platforms, including desktops and consoles. Although the games are offered to subscribers from the middle tab of the Netflix mobile app, users will still be directed to the Google Play Store to install the game on their devices.

To play next, members will need to confirm their Netflix credentials.

Members can then return to the game at any time by clicking “Play” on the game page from the Netflix app or launching it directly from their mobile device.

“It’s still very, very early days and we’ll be working hard to deliver the best possible experience in the months to come with our ad-free, in-app purchase approach to gaming,” a Netflix spokesperson said of the launch.

The company has been expanding its investments in games for years, seeing the potential for a larger world of entertainment tied to its most popular shows. At the E3 Games Conference in 2019, Netflix detailed a series of game integrations on popular platforms such as Roblox and Fortnite and its plans to bring new “Stranger Things” games to market.

On mobile, Netflix has worked with Allen, Texas-based game studio BonusXP, whose first game for Netflix, “Stranger Things: The Game”, has now been renamed “Stranger Things: 1984” to further differentiate it from the rest. . As this game takes place after Season 1 and before Season 2, in the “Stranger Things” timeline, the follow-up title, “Stranger Things 3,” is a playable version of the third season of the Netflix series. (So ​​watch out for spoilers!)

Netflix declined to share the popularity of the games in terms of users or installations, despite being publicly available on app stores.

With the launch of the test in Poland, Netflix says users will need to have a subscription to download the titles as they are now exclusively available to subscribers. However, existing users who have downloaded the game from Google Play in the past will not be affected. They will be able to play the game as usual or even re-download it from their account library if they have already installed it. But new players will only be able to get the game from the Netflix app.

The test aims to better understand how mobile gaming will resonate with Netflix members and to determine what other improvements Netflix may need to make to overall functionality, the company said. He chose Poland as his initial test market because it has an active mobile gaming audience, which he found well suited to these early comments.

Netflix could not say when it would extend this test to other countries, beyond the “next few months”.

The streamer recently announced in its second quarter results that it will add mobile games to its offerings, noting that it sees games as “another new category of content” for its business, similar to its “expansion in original films, animation and unscripted television. “

The news follows what had been a marked slowdown in new customer numbers after the pandemic-fueled streaming surge. In North America, Netflix in the second quarter lost 430,000 subscribers, its third quarterly decline in a decade. It also released a weaker forecast for the coming quarter, forecasting the addition of 3.5 million subscribers as analysts looked for 5.9 million. But Netflix played down the threat of competition to its slowing growth, instead blaming a lighter content list, in part due to production delays linked to COVID.

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