Netflix Inc., known for its success in DVD rentals, streaming, and studio production, is now venturing into a new realm: gaming.
In an announcement on Monday, the streaming service revealed that it is testing videogames on various devices where users consume its content, including TVs, computers, and mobile phones. The beta test will initially be available to select users in Canada and the U.K., with Netflix collecting feedback to improve the gaming experience.
“This is the first step towards making games playable on every device where our members enjoy Netflix,” stated the company.
The purpose of the beta test is to evaluate Netflix’s game-streaming technology and controller. While mobile games were introduced in 2021, the test will focus on integrating games into TVs and computers. The initial games available for testing are “Oxenfree” from Netflix’s game studio Night School Studio and “Molehew’s Mining Adventure,” described as a gem-mining arcade game. Users playing on TV will utilize a phone-based controller, while those on PCs and Macs can use a keyboard and mouse via Netflix’s website.
Netflix stated that games on TV will be compatible with select devices from partners such as Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast with Google TV, LG TVs, Samsung Smart TVs, Roku devices and smart TVs, the Nvidia Shield TV, and Walmart’s Onn TVs. The list of supported devices will expand over time.
This move comes at a time when streaming services, including Netflix, face pressure to enhance profitability. Additionally, with Hollywood experiencing strikes that impact studio-production, diversifying into gaming showcases Netflix’s adaptability and resilience.
Following the announcement, shares of Netflix rose by 1% on Monday. Year-to-date, the company’s shares have rebounded by an impressive 45%.