Netflix Gets in the Game

A sort-of curveball announcement from Netflix (if you didn't hear about their upcoming plans) is the launch of their new gaming service. Yes, Netflix who is known for streaming movies and TV shows, will now stream video games.

Now don't be confused with this launch. It is not a competitor to anything Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft are doing. This is a direct assault targeted at the likes of Apple's Arcade and Amazon's Prime Gaming. The games shown are more mobile-style than something you would see on a console. This is not stuff you'd want on your Xbox. Netflix's gaming service (aptly called Netflix Games) has a whopping five titles, two of which are Stranger Things games: Stranger Things: 1984, Stranger Things 3, Shooting Hoops, Card Blast, and Teeter Up.

Offhand you'd think a Netflix gaming service may be something you'd skip, they're going the Amazon Prime route. The gaming service is a free add-on to your existing subscription. No uncharge, no change in your subscription. No ads in the games, no in-app purchases, no BS. You get it for free and that's that. Currently the games are available inside their Android app. On Twitter they did say an iOS version is in the works.

Given that it's free, it's worth a look even to see if it's worthwhile. It won't be for everyone, but as we saw with House of Cards: Netflix starts small. They had only their single original show. Once that did well, the expansion of original content was swift and set the stage for how all streaming services function. I believe this is a coin-flip between it silently getting discontinued in a year or expanding out to be massive (and maybe become a paid add-on).