Netflix has taken another step towards its expansion into the world of cloud gaming by launching a new app called “Netflix Game Controller.” This innovative app enables subscribers to play games on their TV screens using their smartphones as controllers, creating an immersive gaming experience directly through the streaming platform.
Although the app has made its appearance on the App Store, specific details regarding the games available or the exact timeline for its rollout to the big screen remain elusive. The app’s description tantalizingly promises, “Coming soon to Netflix,” leaving eager gamers anticipating its official release.
Netflix’s move into cloud gaming was foreshadowed last year when Mike Verdu, Netflix’s Vice President of Gaming, indicated the company’s intention to explore cloud gaming. In October 2022, at the TechCrunch Disrupt event, Verdu shared the news of a gaming studio opening in Southern California, which would be helmed by Chacko Sonny, known for his work on Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch.
Verdu was quick to differentiate Netflix’s gaming approach from that of major players like PlayStation and Xbox, emphasizing that Netflix aimed to provide value addition rather than replace traditional consoles. He stated, “It’s a value add. We’re not asking you to subscribe as a console replacement. It’s a completely different business model. The hope is over time that it just becomes this very natural way to play games wherever you are.”
Netflix’s strategy in the gaming sphere includes bundling free games within its streaming subscription, distinguishing itself from past cloud gaming endeavors such as Google’s Stadia, which faced challenges in its business model.
Despite the recent focus on curbing password-sharing, which garnered positive results in terms of subscriber growth, Netflix has remained committed to its gaming ambitions. In May, Leanne Loombe, Netflix’s VP of External Games, highlighted the company’s vision for cloud gaming accessibility on all devices, including TVs. Netflix had shared its plans to release 40 games and develop 16 titles in-house this year, in addition to collaborating with partners on another 70 titles.
The launch of the “Netflix Game Controller” app on iOS is a significant step, indicating the streaming giant’s intent to immerse its user base in the world of cloud gaming. As the app is still in its early stages, it is not yet listed on market intelligence platforms, but its introduction holds promise for a future where Netflix transforms the way users engage with both entertainment and gaming.