Netflix challenges Amazon Luna with three new original games
If you’re willing to spend your hours hitting the ‘skip to next episode’ button, why not try out a few games while you’re at it?
After all, gamers are already spending countless hours playing games on several robust streaming networks these days, including Microsoft’s. (MSFT) – Get the Microsoft Corporation report Xbox Game Pass which offers access to all new releases and Amazon (AMZN) – Get the report from Amazon.com, Inc. Luna, which also offers a solid selection of streaming games for $9.99 per month
While some people still buy physical copies of games, it’s much more popular to download them digitally through stores on video game consoles or PC platforms like Steam.
But so far, Microsoft is the only company to offer a streaming service for new games that everyone wants to play, which is much cheaper at $14.99 per month than the $60 cost and more of most new titles. Nintendo and Sony have yet to move into this space in the same way.
That’s probably why Netflix (NFLX) – Get the report from Netflix, Inc. bets big while moving around the gambling space, which he’s been talking about publicly for some time now. But the time for talk is over, as the streaming giant’s new games are finally here and it promises “lots more to come this month”.
What are the new Netflix games?
First off, don’t go looking for these games in the Netflix app through your TV, because you won’t find them there. Netflix has chosen to stream all three of these games on mobile, so you’ll need your phone in hand to try them out. Go to the Netflix app or store on your phone. Once you’ve downloaded and opened the games, you’ll be prompted to enter your Netflix password to continue.
The first is called “This is A True Story”, and is quite unusual, putting the player in the shoes of an African woman in search of water for her family. As the title suggests, the story is based on real-life experiences gleaned from interviews, and is a very unique gaming experience that falls somewhere between a narrative puzzle and an educational game. Personally, I’ve never played anything else like it.
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“Shatter Remastered”, the second game, is aimed at the gamer who loves fast-paced arcade games. A spin-off of the original PlayStation game “Shatter”, it’s a very polished and modernized take on that good old Atari classic “Pong”, but much cooler. While it’s fun to play, it feels like a much more typical offering compared to how unique and compelling “It’s a True Story” is.
The third game, which is not yet available for download but should arrive soon, is called “Into the Dead 2: Unleashed” and is the sequel to the popular mobile shooter “Into the Dead”. In it, you’ll blast hordes of zombies while upgrading your weapons and doing your best to stay alive.
Will Netflix’s switch to video games be a success?
Adding these three titles brings Netflix’s total to 16 (you can see the full list of what’s available here). All of them can be played on your phone and require your Netflix login to access them.
It makes perfect sense that Netflix chose to go mobile and original rather than adding a streaming game library to its current platform. Netflix has built much of its foundation on its original offerings. So rather than acting as a curator of games that can be found on other platforms, it goes its own way.
In the mobile space, this is a very difficult thing to do. It’s long been a crowded space, and while there are developers taking advantage of it (China’s largest video game developer, Tencent, sits atop the mountain with over $13 million earned for his open-world role-playing game “Honor of Kings”), it’s not easy to do.
Then again, Netflix has always played the long game with its strategy, and it has paid off. He focused on Korean movies and dramas for years before “Squid Game” became a smash hit. If he continues to build an outstanding library that only Netflix members can access, he could be well on his way to carving out his own unique space in the gaming industry.