Netflix Games on iOS probably won't be available directly from the streaming app

Netflix Games
(Image credit: Netflix)

While Netflix Games has already begun its global rollout on Android devices, users on iOS are still waiting to check out the streaming giant's latest content offering, and now we have a pretty good idea as to why.

As detailed in his Power On newsletter (via Engadget), Bloomberg's Mark Gurman (with support from iOS developer and MacRumors contributor Steve Moser) claims to have seen code that stipulates Netflix will release its games "individually" on iOS, as per App Store requirements.

That means that unlike the Android implementation, which allows users to download and launch games directly from within the Netflix app, the iOS Netflix app will simply act as a gateway to the App Store, where users will have to install each title separately.

Our take: this news isn't surprising

While the news that iOS users will probably have to install each Netflix game individually is disappointing, it's hardly surprising given Apple's walled-garden strategy regarding apps.

The Cupertino-based company is known for maintaining a vice-like grip on how apps and games are distributed on iOS, famously leading to a huge legal trial between Apple and Fortnite-developer Epic Games.

The case centered around the App Store’s policy to take a 30% cut of all purchases made from within the storefront, despite Apple presenting no option for iOS users to purchase elsewhere.

While Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogersin ruled in favor of Epic, stating that Apple can no longer force developers to go through the App Store for in-app purchases, Apple has appealed the ruling, which means we haven't heard the last of this particular battle.

Available only in the US at present, Netflix Games offers five playable titles to subscribers at launch: Stranger Things: 1984; Stranger Things 3: The Game; Shooting Hoops; Teeter Up; and Card Blast.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.