Netflix appears to be working to bring games to TV with the iPhone as a controller
Netflix is working on a new feature that could bring its mobile games to the TV. Based on code hidden within Netflix’s iOS app, the company may allow iPhones to be used as video game controllers.
The code was discovered by app developer Steve Moser and reported by Bloomberg. One line of code says, “A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?”
The findings point to a major move from the company as it shifts from smartphones and tablets to the big screen.
Netflix declined to comment to TechCrunch.
Netflix wants to make games playable on every device by turning your iPhone into a controller for Netflix running on a TV. Code hidden in their iOS app: "A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?" $NFLX cloud gaming soon? https://t.co/ZPl5gyoKkQ pic.twitter.com/ilpSJjcxBG
— Steve Moser (@SteveMoser) March 30, 2023
Netflix has previously admitted that it wants to bring games to more devices. “As you can imagine, we do want Netflix games to be playable on every Netflix device that you have,” Leanne Loombe, Netflix’s VP of external games, said last week.
Plus, Netflix posted a job listing last November for a game director to work on a AAA PC game.
The company also said it would expand into cloud gaming, according to Netflix VP of Gaming Mike Verdu, speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt in October 2022.
Since Netflix entered the mobile gaming space in 2021, the company has released more than 55 titles, ranging from original titles based on IP like “Stranger Things” and “The Queen’s Gambit” to popular games such as Heads Up!, Vikings: Valhalla, Valiant Hearts and Country Friends, among others.
Netflix recently announced its 2023 slate of mobile games, which includes 40 titles like Mighty Quest: Rogue Palace. There are 70 games in development. Next year, subscribers will get access to the popular puzzle games Monument Valley 1 and Monument Valley 2.
While Netflix doesn’t disclose how many of its subscribers play the mobile games, an Apptopia report from August 2022 indicated that less than 1% of subs are interested in playing them. Netflix’s upcoming feature will likely convince a few more players to check it out, but it remains to be seen just how many.