Netflix is making a big push into video games. The company first dabbled in games with interactive titles like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and a Carmen Sandiego game. But starting in 2021, it made gaming a much bigger priority — Netflix hired a former EA exec and let people play a selection of mobile games for free as part of their subscriptions.
Since then, Netflix’s gaming arm has launched player gamertags and started hiring to develop a “AAA PC game” while bringing on big names like former Halo lead Joseph Staten. Ubisoft has even announced several games in development for Netflix, including an Assassin’s Creed title to go with a new live-action series the two companies are working on. Netflix also rolled out more big-name titles like Monument Valley and a Tomb Raider roguelike. Most Netflix subscribers haven’t tried its games yet, but that might change soon.
In August 2023, it launched the first tests for its cloud-streamed games that let you play its titles on a TV or on the web, which could help Netflix more easily compete with other non-mobile gaming platforms.
We’ll be watching Netflix’s gaming efforts closely, and you can read our coverage right here.
- Netflix finally streams video games, too
- Two years later, Netflix is still experimenting with games
- Oxenfree II is a perfect spooky sequel — and one of Netflix’s best games
- Laya’s Horizon on Netflix makes flying both exhilarating and soothing
- Netflix wants to make its games ‘playable on every Netflix device that you have’
Netflix is adding the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition to its ever expanding, ever impressive roster of games just in time for the holiday need-a-20-minute-break-from-the-family season.Read Article >
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition (which we’re going to call the GTA Trilogy for simplicity’s sake) is a remaster of GTA III, GTA: Vice City, and GTA: San Andreas. Players can pre-register for the games starting today on iOS and Google Play. It will be available both in the Netflix mobile app and offered separately to Netflix subscribers in the App Store and Google Play.
As Netflix’s foray into cloud gaming expands, so, too, will the kinds of games the company offers. “We feel like there is a real big opportunity with cloud to create a certain type of game experience that really is tailored to Netflix on TV,” says Leanne Loombe, Netflix’s head of external games.Read Article >
Netflix’s cloud gaming efforts are still very early and follow nearly two years of releasing games exclusively on mobile. Right now, only two titles are available as part of a cloud beta test on TVs and PCs, including Oxenfree. But as the service grows to include more titles, Netflix says that the kinds of games offered will differ based on platform — meaning there will eventually be titles on Netflix designed to play only on your television or PC and not a smartphone. No specifics were announced but think console-style games that don’t translate well to a touchscreen.
Netflix is expanding its games streaming beta to the US, the company announced in an update to a blog post. The feature, which lets you play games streamed from the cloud on devices like your TV or a computer, launched first in August in Canada and the UK.Read Article >
In the blog post, Netflix notes that it’s a “limited” beta test, so it seems like this won’t be available to too many people to start. (Netflix used that same “limited” language with the initial launch in Canada and the UK.) Like with the original test, the only two games available to stream are Oxenfree from Netflix’s own Night School Studio and another game titled Molehew’s Mining Adventure.
Sep 12Football Manager is coming to Netflix.
The long-running soccer management game returns on November 6th, available on the usual assortment of consoles and PC. The surprising part is that Football Manager 2024 Mobile will be exclusive to Netflix subscribers, after the series appeared on Apple Arcade last year. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to transfer your save on Netflix (a new feature for the series) — bad news for my long-running career dominating the K League.
Netflix is announcing not only a new game today but also a new line of narrative-driven experiences. It’s called Netflix Stories: Love is Blind, and — unsurprisingly — it’s a mobile game based on the popular Netflix reality show, where players can take on the role of a new contestant. It seems similar to the existing title Too Hot to Handle: Love is a Game, which Netflix says is one of its most popular games.Read Article >
The Love is Blind game launches on September 19th, and interested parties (who are also Netflix subscribers) can preregister to download it now. Perhaps more interesting than the single new game, however, is that the streamer says that more of these “Netflix Stories” titles are also in the works, including ones based on Money Heist and Virgin River. All of the games will be contained in a new app. Here’s how the company describes the effort:
- Netflix now has 70 mobile games available for subscribers.
The number is steadily creeping up, and there are some great games to choose from. However, if you’re one of the lucky few who can test out the company’s streamed games, you’ll only have access to two titles; hopefully Netflix adds more to that lineup soon.
Netflix is kicking off the first public tests of its cloud-streamed games. Beginning Monday, some Netflix subscribers in Canada and the UK will be able to check out Netflix games streamed to select TVs, connected TV devices, and on the web from Netflix.com.Read Article >
In a blog post, Netflix VP of games Mike Verdu characterized this as a “limited beta test” to a “small number of members,” so not all subscribers in Canada and the UK will have it right away. But even though this initial launch is small, it marks a potentially huge moment for Netflix’s gaming ambitions.
It wasn’t terribly shocking when Netflix announced it would be adding games to its platform. Instead, the news was treated with a mild disinterest. “Games” on the platform at that point were the “choose your own adventure” style interactive TV shows like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal. Though Bandersnatch had a hot moment, buzz for the “game” didn’t last terribly long. Then, when actual games first started rolling out on the platform, they were little more than inconsequential time fillers with names like Shooty Hoops.Read Article >
Then, Netflix acquired Night School, makers of Oxenfree and now Oxenfree II: Lost Signals. Indie hits like Into the Breach and Kentucky Route Zero started showing up alongside smaller, Netflix IP-based games like Nailed It! Baking Bash. Now, in the two years since the Great Netflix Gaming Experiment began, the platform’s gaming offerings encompass an impressive range of genres, complexity, and narrative substance, putting BAFTA winners next to games best suited for commutes and waiting rooms. And it’s long past time to consider Netflix not only a well-established streaming platform but an emerging (and serious) video game publisher.
When the original Oxenfree debuted in 2016, it was hard not to make Stranger Things comparisons: from the synth-heavy soundtrack to its story of kids grappling with the supernatural, the vibes were very similar. So it made a lot of sense when, in 2021, Netflix acquired Oxenfree developer Night School Studio as part of its burgeoning games effort. Now we have Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, which is an ideal sequel: it’s another creepy adventure game that stands on its own but also builds on the original in smart ways. It might also be the best video game released under the Netflix label so far.Read Article >
As a game, not much has changed in Lost Signals. It’s a 2D adventure where you wander around a beautiful small town, doing lots of talking and fiddling with radios in order to commune with paranormal forces. The story is where things have progressed. The first game followed a group of friends, led by a teen girl named Alex, who accidentally opened a portal to another realm while partying on a nearly deserted island. Lost Signals takes place a few years later and puts players in the role of Riley, a 30-something who has returned to her hometown Camena after a long time away.
Jul 7Get caught up on Oxenfree before the sequel drops.
The spooky teen adventure game Oxenfree — which is now under the Netflix umbrella — is getting a sequel called Lost Signals on July 12th. But given that the original came out years ago, you’ve probably forgotten what actually happened on Edwards Island — which is likely why Netflix put out this handy recap.
And if you haven’t played Oxenfree yet, it’s only a few hours long, and just the thing if you’re in the mood for a Stranger Things vibe.
Jun 17One of Netflix’s biggest games is getting a sequel.
And you may be surprised to learn that it’s based on the reality show Too Hot to Handle. Here’s a first look. Netflix says it’ll be available to subscribers “soon.”
The big game coming to Netflix this summer is... chess. But not just any chess: on July 25th, subscribers can download a new mobile title called The Queen’s Gambit Chess based on the streaming series of the same name. It sounds like the experience will combine story and character elements from the show with teaching players the ins and outs of the classic board game.Read Article >
Here’s the official description:
May 24It’s a goo time.
World of Goo is one of the best, squishiest puzzle games from the last two decades, and now it’s free to play on mobile if you have a Netflix account. A new “remastered” version was just launched for subscribers, and it looks like the same adorable fun as the version that debuted way back in 2008.
The latest game release on Netflix manages to capture the thrill of flying — while somehow also turning it into something chill.Read Article >
Laya’s Horizon is the newest game from Snowman, the studio best known for serene snowboarding games like Alto’s Odyssey. And in many ways, it’s an experience that builds on what the team has done in the past. Instead of boarding through procedurally generated 2D worlds, in Laya’s Horizon, players are soaring through a handcrafted 3D open-world island full of secrets to uncover. It’s one of the best games to hit Netflix’s fledgling gaming service to date.
Tears of the Kingdom isn’t the only upcoming game about soaring through the skies. Today, developer Snowman, the studio behind the Alto series, properly unveiled its next release: Laya’s Horizon, which was first teased last month. The debut trailer shows off a beautiful world where players soar through forests, mountains, and towns utilizing something like wingsuit flying. It seems like a natural evolution of the Alto games, switching the 2D snow (and sand) boarding gameplay for three-dimensional flying.Read Article >
Laya’s Horizon is also notable as it’s coming to Netflix, where it will be free to subscribers on both iOS and Android. It’ll be Snowman’s second release on the service following the jump-free platformer Lucky Luna. The streaming service has made a slow and steady push into mobile gaming and is looking to expand to other platforms in the future as well.
Apr 19The Shovel Knight puzzle game is coming to mobile.
Shovel Knight: Pocket Dungeon is joining Netflix’s mobile games lineup. Developer Yacht Club Games hasn’t said exactly when, but I’ve wanted an excuse to check this game out since reading Kotaku’s review, so I’ll almost certainly give it a whirl.
Joseph Staten, Halo Infinite’s former head of creative who just announced he was leaving Microsoft, will be the creative director for a new AAA game from Netflix, Staten announced on Monday.Read Article >
“In my work life, there’s nothing I love more than collaborating with others to build worlds filled with iconic characters, deep mysteries, and endless adventures,” Staten wrote in a short Twitter thread on Monday. He didn’t share many specific details about the new game, but he says it will be a “brand-new AAA multiplatform game and original IP.”
Netflix is working on a feature that would let you use your iPhone to control games on your TV, according a new report from Bloomberg and code shared by MacRumors contributing writer Steve Moser. Netflix recently said that it wants to make its games “playable on every Netflix device that you have,” and being able to use your iPhone to play TV games could be one way to help with that mission.Read Article >
According to Moser, the iOS app apparently contains code that says: “A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?”
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.Read Article >
“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.
In 2024, Netflix will be adding two of the most revered mobile titles of all time to its fledgling gaming service. The company announced that both Monument Valley and its sequel will be available to Netflix subscribers starting in 2024.Read Article >
It’s a big get, as both games were huge mobile hits on release and are currently available as part of Apple’s Arcade subscription service as well. (It’s not clear yet if the games will be available on both subscriptions simultaneously next year.)
The developers at Snowman, best known for the Alto series of chill snowboarding games, are teasing their next adventure. It’s called Laya’s Horizon... and that’s about all we know right now. The game was announced via a brief teaser, which shows off a charming seaside village among some mountains before zooming out to reveal a caped character. The description simply reads, “A whole new world is just beyond the horizon.”Read Article >
While we don’t know when Laya’s Horizon will be launching or how it will actually play, we at least know where to find it. The game is coming to Netflix, which offers mobile games as part of its subscription. This will be Snowman’s second release on the platform following the unique platformer Lucky Luna, which released last year.
Feb 14The new Tomb Raider mobile roguelike is out now.
Tomb Raider Reloaded, which was first revealed just a couple weeks ago, is out now. I beat the first level on iOS, and I enjoyed it more than I suspected, but my interest waned after I saw the complicated smorgasbord of leveling and equipment options in the main menu.
Update February 14th, 2:13PM ET: Added links separating Netflix and non-Netflix versions.
Feb 6Two new indie games are coming to Netflix.
Dust & Neon, a western-themed roguelike shooter, will be joining Netflix’s lineup of mobile games on February 16th, while Highwater, a post-apocalyptic turn-based strategy adventure game, will be added “soon,” according to a blog post from publisher Rogue Games. You can learn more about Dust & Neon, which is also coming to Switch and PC, in the video below.
Netflix is bringing some turtle power to its suite of mobile games by adding Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, a modern take on the classic TMNT arcade games. Shredder’s Revenge was first released for PC and consoles in 2022, but now, you can play it on iOS or Android if you have a Netflix subscription.Read Article >
Shredder’s Revenge does a lot to capture the spirit of the old-school beat ‘em up games: it has beautiful pixel art, side-scrolling levels, and lets up to six people play at the same time. But the game is also designed to be welcoming to people who may not have grown up with the original TMNT arcade games, which might make it easier for new players to jump in. If you want to learn more, you can read Andrew Webster’s interview with designer Frederic Gemus, who spoke about the design philosophy behind Shredder’s Revenge.