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Netflix starts testing Android games for users in Poland

Netflix starts testing Android games for users in Poland


Two Stranger Things titles are available

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix is taking its next step into gaming by allowing subscribers in Poland on Android to play two Stranger Things games, the company announced Thursday.

“Starting today, members in Poland can try Netflix mobile gaming on Android with two games — Stranger Things 1984 and Stranger Things 3 — all as part of their membership,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. “It’s still very, very early days and we will be working hard to deliver the best possible experience in the months ahead with our no ads, no in-app purchases approach to gaming.”

You can get an idea of how it works in a tweet from Netflix’s Polish team. Available games will show up in your home feed. If you tap on a game’s icon, you can learn more about the game and tap a button to download it, which will take you to the Google Play store to download it. You can also find the games yourself on Google Play.

After the game is downloaded, when you open it up to try and play it, you’ll be asked to log in with your Netflix credentials before you can start playing, the Netflix spokesperson told The Verge. This means that games aren’t being streamed to your device — they are downloaded.

In July, Netflix put some big stakes in the ground about its plans for gaming, hiring a former EA and Oculus exec to lead the company’s gaming work and stating that its initial strategy would be “primarily focused on games for mobile devices.” Games will also be included for free with users’ Netflix subscriptions — which is all setting up for the company to offer an Apple Arcade-like suite of mobile games available to Netflix subscribers.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has experimented with games. The streaming service offers interactive titles like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Minecraft: Story Mode, and Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal. And the company had several Stranger Things projects in the works with Telltale, the makers of the hit The Walking Dead games, before the studio collapsed.

It’s unclear when Netflix subscribers outside of Poland or on different device platforms may be able to try this functionality.

Update August 26th, 3:40PM ET: Added that you’ll be asked to login to your Netflix account when you open a game offered as part of your Netflix subscription before you can play it.

Correction: The Google Play store will not load in-app when you try to download a game. Instead, you will taken to the Play Store. And you can launch games from the Netflix app, but they won’t play inside it. We regret the errors.