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Netflix Gaming Success May Hinge on Apple App Store Rules

Lauren Forristal

Netflix is still early into the gaming app world with a limited selection of easy beginner games like “Shooting Hoops,” immersive storytelling such as “Escape the Undertaker,” and VR like “Eden.” However, Netflix is confident that they will become a major player and soon attract more and more customers. There is one potential problem, however… Apple Inc. and its very strict Apple Store rules, reports Bloomberg.

Since the Apple Store doesn’t allow third parties to build all-in-one gaming service apps, Netflix is currently only on Android.

As of last week, Netflix’s new service became available on Android, however, it isn’t an all-in-one gaming app but instead individual (offline and online) games on a separate tab in the Netflix app. If they want to be successful, they need to act like other top gaming services and switch to solely cloud-based.

Poland, Italy, and Spain were the first countries to sample the Netflix games before they were released on the Android app. Games like “Stranger Things 1984,” “Stranger Things 3,” “Shooting Hoops,” “Card Blast,” and “Teeter Up” set Netflix apart from other streaming services. But can they ride next to the high roller companies like Microsoft, Nvidia, and Alphabet (Google)?

According to Bloomberg, we can expect to see Netflix games on iOS released individually on Apple’s App Store and let players launch them via the Netflix app. While this is an okay solution, consumers aren’t going to like that they can’t download and play the game within the app itself.

The fact that Netflix games are completely free and include no ads is working in their favor and opens a lot of potential doors in the future. And with the potential of a world with little catalog titles on Netflix, the company will need to focus on standing out in other ways than their original content.

Thus, gaming is their newest unique offering and allows them to be “laser-focused on delivering the most entertaining game experiences that we can,” said Greg Peters, CPO, and COO of Netflix. “We can be In a world where most of the games atop the various app stores are loaded with predatory advertising and in-game purchase mechanics, having a place where users can avoid these toxic business practices will likely pay off for Netflix in the long run.”

Netflix can only truly succeed once it is an all-in-one service but that requires Apple to make an exemption or change its rules completely—ultimately leaving Netflix in the hands of Apple.

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