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Netflix to soon let you play games on TV, company launches virtual Game Controller app


Netflix already lets users download ad-free games on Android and iOS-running phones and tablets. The company has said in the past that it wants Netflix games to be playable on “all devices.” Ahead of the official launch of Netflix games on TV, the company has quietly launched a Netflix Game Controller app on iOS. It is also expected to roll out to Android phones later.

The app is available to download for free on the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads. As the name suggests, the Netflix Game Controller app is essentially a virtual gamepad to play Netflix games on TV. Its App Store page reads that the app’s minimum requirements include iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 and later. The description reads:

“Coming soon to Netflix. Play games on your TV with the Netflix Game Controller. This Game Controller app pairs with your TV and allows you to play games on Netflix using your phone or mobile device.”

Netflix has been offering cloud gaming for quite some time (since 2021), though games are mainly developed for smartphones with modest specifications. Netflix has been clear about making its titles accessible to a larger group of people. The games only require a Netflix subscription to play, since they are free of ads. The streaming giant has also become more aggressive by pushing out more cloud games. Recently, it launched titles including Laya’s Horizon, World of Goo Remastered, and Spooky Oxenfree II: Lost Signals.

The Netflix Game Controller app arrived almost five months after Netflix’s VP of External Games, Leanne Loombe, mentioned that the company is in the “very early” stages of this journey. As reported by The Verge in March, Loombe indicated that Netflix was proceeding cautiously in the realm of cloud gaming, especially in the aftermath of Google Stadia’s abrupt departure. This cautious approach is also due to challenges faced by Netflix and other gaming giants, such as hardware limitations (TV or phone, in this case) and potential lag issues with cloud games. Loombe’s remarks came when Netflix was losing a serious amount of money.

However, lately, the company has taken drastic measures to boost its subscriber base. Netflix has started expanding its password-sharing crackdown to more countries, including India. Though there have been initial setbacks, Netflix believes the move has long-term benefits. As more people join its bandwagon, the company will have additional content to offer, including cloud games. Gaming could also be a significant attraction, since the company lacks the option of live sports streaming, which streaming companies like Apple and Disney provide.

Edited By:

Abhik Sengupta

Published On:

Aug 9, 2023

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