Netflix is looking to expand its gaming offering, with reports indicating that you might soon be able to enjoy its titles on your TV as well as on the Netflix phone app.
In between its less-than-well-received announcements that free Netflix password sharing will soon be a thing of the past – with password-sharing rules that are tricky to wrap your head around – the streamer has also been expanding its catalog of services to include games.
In the Netflix mobile app subscribers won’t just find hit video content; they can also access a pretty solid lineup of free games they can play on their smartphone. Playing games on a phone screen isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, however – particularly on more budget handsets where the screen isn’t the biggest or best quality.
Now developer Steve Moser has discovered code in Netflix’s apps that reference games being played on a television (via Bloomberg).
What’s more, there’s apparently also code that suggests you’ll be able to use your phone as a controller to play them, with one line of code reading 'A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?'
All leaks like this should be taken with a pinch of salt – there’s a chance that Netflix is only testing these features and has no plans to launch them to the public – but Moser has a decent track record with leaks of this kind. He previously revealed that Netflix’s ad-supported tier wouldn’t allow you to download shows for offline viewing, which Netflix later confirmed.
Opinion: I’m excited about better Netflix gaming
When I first heard that Netflix had plans to expand its catalogue into games I was not at all enthused about the idea. Rather than spending its money on mediocre-at-best mobile games, I would have preferred to see it invest in its shows, and give my favorite series an extra season rather than unceremoniously cancelling them in their prime.
But its current game library is good, great even. Alongside tie-in titles for hit Netflix shows like Stranger Things and Narcos, it also includes some of the absolute best indie games out there – the likes of Oxenfree, Moonlighter, and Spiritfarer (all of which you should play, especially if you’re a Netflix subscriber).
And this latest leak has me pretty excited about how the streaming platform is developing. While I don’t mind gaming on my phone while I'm on the go, when I’m at home I much prefer lying back on my couch and watching the action unfold on my large TV screen; so I’m much more likely to play a Netflix game through to completion on my TV.
If Netflix can continue to develop its gaming services, both in terms of its infrastructure and its catalog of titles, it could be a force to be reckoned with in the streaming space – and I can’t wait and see where it takes the service next.
If Netflix games aren't convincing you to subscribe to or stay with Netflix, check out the other best streaming services.