Netflix recently announced its plans to expand a pilot program that allows users in the United States to play games via the app.
The pilot began in August for subscribers in Canada and the UK.
The games are limited to only two at the moment, including Molehew’s Mining Adventure, a gem-mining arcade game, and Oxenfree, a supernatural teen adventure.
Oxenfree was developed by Night School Studios, which was acquired by Netflix in 2021.
The games can be played on phones, computers, and even television utilizing a Netflix app that must be downloaded so that the phone can serve as a game controller.
This expansion hints at Netflix’s broader strategy to add even more games to its streaming service and to become a full-functioning home entertainment hub.
In addition to Night School Studios, Netflix has quietly been acquiring game studios including last year’s purchase of Seattle-based Spry Fox, Austin-based Boss Fight Entertainment, and Helsinki-based Next Games.
Next Games developed a crossover game for the wildly popular show Stranger Things.
Similarly, Night School Games released a crossover with the Netflix show The Queen’s Gambit.
The company plans more crossovers in the coming months, including games centered around Love is Blind, Virgin River, and Money Heist.
With all these acquisitions, Netflix has collected a portfolio of over 70 games just waiting to hit the platform.
The company’s recent announcement of expansions in its brick-and-mortar experience stores is evidence that the company is going all in to monetize its hit shows through merchandise, restaurants, and now games.
In 2022, Netflix’s stock plunged by over 50% as the company failed to meet earnings, but 2023 has seen the company earn back some of its value.
It remains to be seen if all this carefully coordinated cross-branding will pay off.