This marks Netflix's first entry into the video game market with an in-app mobile game integration.
According to Netflix Geeked, On Thursday Polish Netflix members can download two new games to their Android device, Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3. This is the first step. There is still a lot to do in the months ahead." "It's just a very, very early stage."
"Stranger Things" is a well-known franchise for the company; both games were part of the show's promotional campaign in 2016. In 2017 the mobile game Stranger Things: 1984 was released for iOS and Android devices and in 2019 the Nintendo Switch version of Stranger Things: 3 was released.
The games are available to subscribers via in-app links that direct them to the Google Play Store to download them. Subscribers will not pay a premium for either title, and both titles will have no ads or in-app purchases. Apple devices are not compatible with these games.
Beta testing began just weeks after Netflix announced in July that they would create video games, shortly after which they hired former Electronic Arts executive Mike Verdu. This announcement came along with a report that their subscriber growth had slowed to its lowest levels in eight years.
A total of 1.5 million subscribers joined Netflix worldwide in the second quarter of 2021, but 430,000 subscribed to the U.S. and Canada. On average, Netflix, however, increased subscribers by less than the 1 million it predicted. Its new gaming strategy will help Netflix expand its IP footprint, which Netflix hopes will eventually result in standalone games and help retain and grow its subscriber base.
“We'll see how that works. The first steps will be modest. In July, Netflix's chief product officer, Greg Peters, told investors that "we will learn, we will grow." In our subscription model, we can create a set of games that are currently underrepresented by dominant models of monetization in the business of games. No ads, no in-game purchases, no per-title purchases -- none of those things need to be addressed. The best way to ensure that the gaming experience is as entertaining as possible is to do exactly what we've been doing with movies and series."