Netflix is mounting into video games and plans to offer ad-free games for mobile devices with no extra cost to subscribers as early as next year. Netflix’s plans to enter the gaming world won’t be the first, but it could shake up the industry for other rival services and subscriptions as well.

The games will appear alongside current fare as a new programming genre — similar to what Netflix did with documentaries or stand-up specials. The company doesn’t currently plan to charge extra for the content, as per the source. Netflix shares gained as much as 2.8% to $563.45 in premarket trading Thursday. The stock had been up 1.3% this year through Wednesday’s close.

Netflix’s expansion comes at a time when the company is looking at new ways to draw in subscribers in an attempt to stave off ferocious competition from the likes of Disney+, Apple TV+ and AT&T`s HBO Max. Netflix has previously experimented with interactive programming with movies such as “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” and “You vs. Wild” that enabled viewers to decide the characters’ moves.

It has also created games based on shows “Stranger Things” and “La casa de Papel (Money Heist)” and recently launched an online store to sell merchandise related to its TV shows.

Netflix fueling its ambitions of rolling out video games on its platform seems an interesting idea. What do you think?

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Joydev Mishra


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