Netflix launches “Netflix Game Controller” app for iPhone and iPad users

Aug 9, 2023, 6:22 PM UTC
3 mins read
Netflix launches "Netflix Game Controller" app for iPhone and iPad users
Photo by Sayan Ghosh on Unsplash

Netflix has quietly unveiled a new gaming controller app, available for download on the App Store. Dubbed the “Netflix Game Controller,” this enigmatic app hints at a potential expansion into the realm of television gaming, offering users the tantalizing prospect of playing games directly on their TV screens. While the app’s functionalities are yet to be fully realized, its presence adds to Netflix’s growing gaming repertoire, which includes recent releases such as Laya’s Horizon, World of Goo Remastered, and the spine-chilling Oxenfree II: Lost Signals.

The “Netflix Game Controller” app’s debut has been shrouded in mystery, leaving users and industry experts alike speculating on its true purpose and capabilities. As the app description suggests, it aims to facilitate gaming on a television screen by connecting with compatible devices. Despite its seemingly straightforward intention, the app currently lacks a listed compatible game, prompting questions about Netflix’s larger strategy and its vision for the future of gaming on TV.

“Coming soon to Netflix,” teases the app’s description, hinting at an impending integration of gaming into the streaming platform’s expansive offerings. Users are promised the ability to engage in gaming experiences through the app, utilizing their mobile devices as controllers. The app’s splash screen discreetly informs users that “Netflix Games on TV are in beta,” a phrase that further fuels speculation about Netflix’s intentions in the gaming arena.

Upon downloading and launching the Netflix Game Controller app, users are greeted with a seemingly interactive interface. The app prompts users to select a game on their TV and follow the provided instructions for connection. However, as of now, this process yields no tangible results. This peculiar functionality, or lack thereof, has led some users to question whether the app is merely a teaser for what is yet to come or a premature release awaiting further development.

Netflix’s pivot towards gaming is hardly a surprising one. Recent months have witnessed the streaming giant releasing a series of original games designed for mobile platforms. Titles such as Laya’s Horizon and World of Goo Remastered have been well-received by subscribers seeking diverse forms of entertainment. The emergence of the Netflix Game Controller app, aimed at TV screens, reflects the company’s desire to expand its gaming footprint and capitalize on the immense popularity of gaming as a form of mainstream entertainment.

Netflix’s aspirations in the gaming realm have been subtly evident in its public statements and strategic moves. Leanne Loombe, Vice President of External Games at Netflix, articulated the company’s vision earlier this year, expressing the goal of making Netflix games “playable on every Netflix device that you have.” This proclamation echoed the sentiments of Mike Verdu, Vice President of Games, who had previously announced the exploration of a Netflix cloud gaming service. This cloud-based platform could potentially serve as the conduit for delivering Netflix games onto the larger canvas of TV screens.

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