Beginning Tuesday, Netflix’s movie and television streaming service will incorporate video games, including the previously published action-adventure mobile games spin-offs Stranger Things: 1984 (originally Stranger Things: The Game) and Stranger Things 3: The Game.
“Whether you’re craving a casual game you can start from scratch or an immersive experience that lets you dig deeper into your favorite stories, we want to begin to build a library of games that offers something for everyone,” Mike Verdu, Netflix vice president of game development, said.
“We’re in the early days of creating a great gaming experience, and we’re excited to take you on this journey with us.”
This first Netflix Games lineup—which also includes Shooting Hoops, Teeter Up, and the service’s lone addition, Card Blast—is accessible to anybody with an active Netflix membership through Android devices (no news yet on iOS). Verdu also promises “no advertisements, no extra costs, and no in-app purchases” in the introduction, although we’ll have to wait and see how long that holds true.
The first signs of Netflix’s formal entry into gaming surfaced earlier this summer when Bloomberg reported on the streaming platform recruiting Verdu away from his prior role as Facebook’s vice president of virtual reality content. Since then, Netflix has been vocal about its aspirations to give users an ad-free gaming experience, and in September bought the developer behind Oxenfree and Afterparty, Los Angeles-based Night School Studio.
“Night School wishes to broaden our narrative and creative ambitions across unique, original games with emotion,” co-founder Sean Krankel said at the time. “Netflix provides filmmakers, television producers, and now game developers with an unmatched canvas on which to create and distribute exceptional entertainment to millions of people. Our forays into narrative gaming and Netflix’s history of championing various storytellers were a natural fit. Both teams seemed to have reached this conclusion intuitively.”
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is presently in development for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, as well as the Nintendo Switch and PC. No mention was made of this sequel or Night School Studio in today’s Netflix announcement.