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Netflix launches game controller app to play games on TV

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After having expressed their intentions to expand into cloud gaming, Netflix on Tuesday said that they are launching a game controller app which can be connected to TV and be used to play games available through Netflix’s services.

Though the app is now visible on the App Store, there is no news on which games will be made available on the big screen and when. There is also no news as to when this controller will be made available on Android devices. Currently, the app’s description only says, “Coming soon to Netflix”.

Even though Netflix has declined to share any additional information relating to its plans and its timeline. It has however, gone on record about its plans to expand beyond mobile games.

In October 2022, Netflix VP of Gaming Mike Verdu told the audience at our TechCrunch Disrupt event that Netflix was “exploring a cloud gaming offering.” He also noted the company would open a new gaming studio in Southern California, led by Chacko Sonny, the former executive producer on Overwatch at Blizzard Entertainment. He further clarified that he didn’t see Netflix competing in the same space as PlayStation or Xbox, however.

“It’s a value add. We’re not asking you to subscribe as a console replacement,” Verdu said at the time. “It’s a completely different business model. The hope is over time that it just becomes this very natural way to play games wherever you are.”

While other cloud gaming services have failed, like Google’s Stadia, Netflix believes the issues were around the business models, not the technology. Verdu remarked that Stadia’s games were fun to play, but the business itself was not sustainable. Netflix currently bundles its games with the existing streaming subscriptions.

As Netflix continued to roll out more games to its service, Netflix’s VP of external games Leanne Loombe this May touted Netflix’s cloud gaming ambitions, saying, “We do believe that cloud gaming will enable us to provide that easy access to games on any screen. Our overall vision is that our members can play games on any Netflix device they have”

Netflix had also said around the same time that it had 40 games slated for launch this year as well as 16 being developed in its in-house studios plus 70 more in development with its partners. Since Netflix expanded into gaming in November 2021, it has released north of 50 titles.

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