Last week, Netflix launched its mobile service on Android. Although the service offers only 5 titles, it’s a start of games library that will expand over time. The impetus behind the new category on the most popular video streaming service of the world is to give subscribers more and to gain new ones in an increasingly competitive industry. But the question remains will iOS users get to enjoy the games on their Netflix accounts?
Mark Gurman of Bloomberg says that Netflix is testing games on iOS and the titles might be launched on iOS with each game available on the App Store, separately.
Apple’s cloud-gaming ban on iOS pushes Netflix to release individual game apps on the App Store
Unlike Xbox Cloud Gaming, Facebook Gaming, and GeForce Now, Netflix workaround Apple’s cloud gaming ban is to launch individual apps on the App Store. Developer, Steve Moser has discovered that the company is testing games on iOS that will be available on the App Store and will not be downloadable and playable within the Netflix app.
Currently, five games are added in a dedicated games tab and row on the app’s Android version for smartphones and tablets. Without any additional cost, subscribers can play the following games, ads-free games with no in-app purchases, iOS subscribers should expect the same functionality on iPhones and iPads.
- Stranger Things: 1984 (BonusXP)
- Stranger Things 3: The Game (BonusXP)
- Shooting Hoops (Frosty Pop)
- Card Blast (Amuzo & Rogue Games)
- Teeter Up (Frosty Pop)
Having said that, Gurman predicts that Netflix’s solution to Apple’s ban on all-in-one service is not profitable in the long run and the company might pivot to cloud gaming exclusively on Android in the future.
This approach is a solution, but not one that will put Netflix’s gaming service in the best position to succeed. Consumers tend to prefer all-in-one services. Again, the current Android offering also has that limitation, but I’d expect that will only be the case for a limited time.
To be a true all-in-one service on iOS, Netflix will have to make its move to the cloud—and Apple will need to change its rules or grant Netflix an exemption. That leaves the ultimate success of Netflix’s service in the hands of Apple, a longtime partner but also a growing rival.