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Netflix takes first stab at mobile gaming in its Android app, but only in Poland

Playing on Netflix's mobile app is new, but the games themselves -- two pixelated Stranger Things games -- have already been available off Netflix for years.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman
2 min read

Netfix ported two pre-existing Stranger Things mobile games into its Android app in Poland. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Netflix is testing out its first stab at mobile gaming within its own app at no extra cost, bringing two pre-existing Stranger Things games to its Android app -- but only in Poland. 

The two games available in Poland -- Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3 -- have been available for years off Netflix's app, having been released through a licensing partnership in 2017 and 2019 to coincide with the second and third seasons of the hit retro-supernatural show. 

Last month, Netflix confirmed it plans to expand into video games, starting with ad-free games for mobile devices like phones and tablets available on its existing service at no added cost to subscribers. With broad ambitions to ultimately widen even to console games for Xbox and PlayStation, it represents its biggest expansion into a new kind of entertainment since Netflix started streaming in 2007 and released its first original show in 2012. 

The move into gaming widens Netflix from its bedrock business of TV shows and movies as the world's biggest subscription video service. As Netflix has grown, it's long pointed out that its competition extends beyond the traditional TV and movie companies that go head-to-head with it now. The company has repeatedly called out gaming phenoms like Fortnite, as well as user-generated-video powerhouse YouTube, as some of its toughest competition because of the massive amount of entertainment hours they command worldwide. 

Netflix games won't have ads, they won't include in-game purchases and you won't have to buy individual titles. Netflix games will be part of your overall subscription, in the same way that the company started making and streaming horror movies and reality TV shows alongside high-brow drama series as part of same Netflix membership. 

Watch this: 5 ways to get more out of Netflix