Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Netflix Games streaming just entered beta testing, and some of you can try it

Published May 9th, 2024 12:35PM EDT
Netflix Games might have ads and IAP soon.
Image: Netflix

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Netflix started offering subscribers free access to games a few years ago. All you need is an active Netflix subscription to play games on mobile devices. Initially, Netflix Games were available only on Android devices. Then they made their way to iPhones and iPads, with Netflix adding more exciting titles to its roster of games.

Fast-forward to early May 2024, and Netflix seems to be almost ready for the next big upgrade for games. The company is currently running a test in some markets, including European countries, that allows subscribers to play Netflix Games directly in a browser. This might not seem like a big deal, and it’s just a test. But if it’s successful, we might see Netflix make a big play in the video game streaming space.

Italian blog SmartWorld reports that the Netflix Games beta test has gone live in Italy. The Netflix carousel now contains an entire row dedicated to games. It’s aptly called “Games beta,” signaling to users who have enabled the option to take part in Netflix tests that it’s not a finished, public feature just yet.

Tapping one of the titles will give you a familiar experience. You get more information about the game, a trailer, and a button to start gameplay. The first time you load a game in the browser, Netflix will show you a pop-up that warns the feature is still in testing. After you play the game, you might see a survey asking about the game streaming experience.

The blog says the controls are limited for the time being. You can only use a mouse and keyboard to play the titles you select, and Netflix provides tutorials to show you how to play the games.

This is an important detail, as the experience between a desktop computer and a mobile device will differ. You use on-screen controls to play a game on iPhone, iPad, and Android, but that’s not available when streaming Netflix Games on a traditional computer.

Also, SmartWorld played Netflix games in Google Chrome, though I’d assume other browsers will also work.

The test isn’t just about adapting some of the mobile games Netflix offers to computers and maybe TVs. It’s probably about testing the game streaming infrastructure that Netflix must be building for the service. I am just speculating here, as SmartWorld says the games available in the browser are very basic, for the time being. That is, they’re easy to play and not resource-heavy to stream. Oxenfree is one of the games seen in one of the screenshots. But there’s no GTA available, apparently.

I checked to see if the new game streaming feature is available in my market in Europe, but it isn’t. I don’t have a Netflix Games carousel option on Netflix on the desktop. It’s unclear how large the beta test is or how many European markets have access. But if the test is successful, we’ll probably see the Games tab appear on Netflix worldwide in the near future.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.