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Netflix has rolled out the first step of its expansion into video games by letting Polish subscribers access two mobile games.
The games – Strangers Things 3 and Stranger Things 1984 – were previously paid releases on mobile, but now Polish Netflix subscribers can download the Android versions for free.
The new was initially announced by the Polish Netflix Twitter account and was then translated to English by the official Netflix Geeked account.
“It’s very, very early days and we’ve got a lot of work to do in the months ahead, but this is the first step,” the tweet reads.
Netflix promises that any games downloaded as part of a Netflix membership will have no ads, no in-app purchases and will be available at no extra cost.
The company officially confirmed last month that it was expanding into video games as part of a report on its financial results for the period.
It said it was currently “in the early stages” of expanding into games, building on its earlier efforts around interactive television (like Black Mirror Bandersnatch) and its Stranger Things games.
Games will be included in members’ Netflix subscription at no additional cost, the company said, and initially it will be “primarily” focused on games for mobile devices.
“We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” Netflix said in a letter to shareholders.
“We’re excited as ever about our movies and TV series offering and we expect a long runway of increasing investment and growth across all of our existing content categories, but since we are nearly a decade into our push into original programming, we think the time is right to learn more about how our members value games.”
Netflix is said to now be recruiting for game development related roles, although it’s claimed the California-based company has yet to decide on an actual game development strategy.
The company had previously suggested that it saw entering the games market as a significant challenge. Speaking in 2019, CEO Reed Hastings claimed Netflix had no intention to create a game streaming service.
“We don’t compete with Fortnite better by doing something like [a streaming service] because we’re not very good at that,” he said at the time. “We compete by doing the most amazing TV shows you’ve ever seen so you put down Fortnite and you come to watch our shows.”
Netflix has produced dozens of video game adaptations over the years, most notably The Witcher, Sonic the Hedgehog, Castlevania and a Resident Evil movie. It is also currently working on movies based on two Ubisoft properties – The Division and Beyond Good & Evil – as well as an Assassin’s Creed series.