Netflix has steadily built its profile in the mobile space with a combination of games based on its productions and third-party games hosted on its service. While job listings have shown that the company is working on an AAA shooterm details have emerged regarding the company’s ambitions to bring mobile gaming to TV’s.
Developer Steve Moser got in touch with Bloomberg to bring attention to new code within the Netflix iOS app, which reads “A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?”
Netflix wants to make games playable on every device by turning your iPhone into a controller for Netflix running on a TV. Code hidden in their iOS app: "A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?" $NFLX cloud gaming soon? https://t.co/ZPl5gyoKkQ pic.twitter.com/ilpSJjcxBG— Steve Moser (@SteveMoser) March 30, 2023
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman notes that TV’s lack the horsepower needed for gaming, which supports a statement made by Netflix VP of Gaming Mike Verdu that the streaming giant is “seriously exploring” cloud gaming.
The future of gaming?
One distinct benefit of cloud gaming is that it allows players to access gaming content even without owning the relevant platforms. Notably, there’s a significant Google Stadia-sized gap in the market which Netflix seemingly hopes to fill.
This update could also address Netflix’s issues with engaging consumers with its games. Although the company has made strides in this regard, a report from 2022 found that less than 1% of Netflix users played its games. Putting its gaming offering on TVs, right alongside it's much-loved content, would certainly win them the players they're currently chasing.
It’s also notable that some of Netflix Games’ titles, such as 12 Minutes and Immortality, initially made their debut on other platforms. Utilising the cloud could allow mobile players to experience these titles on TV.
This also raises the prospect of whether the service would include Netflix’s planned move into AAA gaming. Mobile has routinely pulled ahead of AAA gaming in terms of accessibility, and the move to cloud gaming with phones as the controller could make AAA gaming more accessible than ever before, as well as raise the profile of mobile gaming in the public consciousness.
We listed Netflix as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.