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Netflix wants to make its games ‘playable on every Netflix device that you have’

Netflix wants to make its games ‘playable on every Netflix device that you have’


Work on its cloud gaming service is ‘underway,’ according to Leanne Loombe, Netflix’s VP of external games.

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Netflix’s logo on a black and yellow background
Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Netflix is still working on its cloud gaming service, which could make its burgeoning games lineup easier to play and available across more devices. The company’s VP of games, Mike Verdu, announced in October that Netflix was “seriously exploring” a cloud gaming service, and work on the project is “underway,” Leanne Loombe, Netflix’s VP of external games, said in a briefing with reporters.

“We are very early in that side of our journey,” Loombe said. “We do believe that cloud gaming will enable us to provide that easy access to games on any screen and be frictionless and provide the accessibility into gaming experiences.” She cautioned that Netflix is being “super thoughtful” about how it builds the service, perhaps to avoid a Google Stadia-level disaster.

Right now, you can see Netflix’s mobile games in the Netflix app, but to actually play them, you have to download them from the App Store or Google Play. It’s a little clunky, and it’s definitely not as smooth as just starting a show with a tap in-app. If that was possible with Netflix’s games, it could mean a lot more people will try them than the paltry few who have so far.

The way Netflix’s mobile games currently work will remain for “the foreseeable future,” according to Loombe. That’s not too surprising; Netflix’s cloud gaming efforts do seem quite early, and Netflix will probably need Apple to change its significant restrictions on cloud gaming apps before it can offer a robust cloud gaming service.

But it seems like the company is committed to cloud gaming as a way to make its titles easier to play on mobile and elsewhere. “As you can imagine, we do want Netflix games to be playable on every Netflix device that you have,” Loombe said. “How the mobile app stores and the streaming comes together is something that we are continuing to work out and plan for.”

Correction March 20th, 10:37AM ET: The original article misspelled Leanne Loombe’s last name. We regret the error.