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Netflix Might Be Seriously Looking at Expanding into Games with an Apple Arcade-Like Service

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TV/movie streaming giant Netflix might be seriously looking at expanding into games, according to a new report posted by The Information. The company has apparently reached out to several industry veterans, with the goal to create an Apple Arcade-like subscription service.

Following that report, Polygon obtained a statement from a Netflix spokesperson that seems to go in that direction.

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Our members value the variety and quality of our content. It’s why we’ve continually expanded our offering — from series to documentaries, film, local language originals, and reality TV.

Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love — through interactive shows like Bandersnatch and You v. Wild, or games based on Stranger Things, La Casa de Papel, and To All the Boys. So we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment.

Netflix did previously dabble into releasing games like Stranger Things 3: The Game and Narcos: Rise of the Cartels. Both were reviewed by Chris, with the former faring a lot better than the latter.

Stranger Things 3: The Game is a decent throw-back to older titles and a strong tie-in to the current third season to the show. Being a game version of the third season, you need to have prior knowledge of the show, its events and characters otherwise it'll be lost on you. Beyond this, the game has a nostalgic feel with charming retro visuals and beat-em-up combat, combined with modern sensibilities like making the areas of Stranger Things explorable, with a decent amount of content thrown in to give the game a decent amount of gameplay value. The only major issue is that towards the end of the game there's too much repetition. Still, for the smaller price, it's more than worth it for fans of the series. 7/10

Narcos: Rise of the Cartels is the perfect example of one decision ruining any chance a game had of being reasonable. An X-COM style real-time tactics game where you can only use one character per turn, which limits tactical options and essentially grinds the game to a halt as soon as you take to the field. Compounded by moronic AI in repetitive missions that are made so easy the squad-building and permadeath is rendered pointless. The game has a few interesting aspects, such as a unique third-person shooter twist on overwatch mechanics found in other games. All in all, this isn't the way to experience Narcos - watch the show instead. 3/10

Of course, these were relatively minor endeavors. Netflix will have to invest a lot more if they truly mean to get a foothold in the gaming industry. Stay tuned for more information on their plans as it becomes available.

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