Netflix launches into video games for Android with titles including ‘Stranger Things’

Netflix has begun its expected foray into video games with the introduction of five mobile games, playable initially on Android devices. (Ilia Burdun/Dreamstime/TNS)
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Rob Golum Bloomberg News (TNS)

Netflix Inc., the video-streaming giant, began its expected foray into video games with the introduction of five mobile games, playable initially on Android devices.

The titles are included in a Netflix subscription, and there’ll be no advertising or additional purchases required, Mike Verdu, Netflix’s vice president of game development, said Tuesday.

The streaming company has targeted video games as its next big thing — it’s an industry that’s larger than the movie and TV businesses. Players logging in will see a dedicated games row and tab where they can choose which titles to play. Games for Apple Inc.’s iPhone are also planned.

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The initial offering includes titles linked to Netflix shows, such as “Stranger Things: 1984” and “Stranger Things 3: The Game.” Also included are “Shooting Hoops,” “Card Blast” and “Teeter Up.”

Bloomberg first reported the company’s push into the business in July. The company said the games aren’t available on kids profiles and that a PIN — like the one used to rope off adult titles — will be required to play. Some will be available to play offline.

Video games give Netflix another way to lure new customers and also offer something none of its direct competitors provide. Walt Disney Co. and AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia have access to live sports, but they don’t have gaming within their main video services.

Shares of Netflix, which finished last quarter with almost 214 million subscribers, rose as much as 1% to $687.68 in New York. They were up 26% this year through Monday’s close.

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