Netflix adds new titles to its gaming service, two with a NZ connection

Users can access the titles via a dedicated games row in the Netflix mobile app.
Users can access the titles via a dedicated games row in the Netflix mobile app. Photo credit: Newshub

Streaming giant Netflix's move into gaming continues with the announcement of three new offerings in New Zealand, including two launching today.

Kiwi gamers who are Netflix subscribers have been able to access a selection of games since late last year.

In September it purchased Night School, the developer of the popular game Oxenfree, with a commitment that more games were going to be released.

"Just like our series, films and specials, we want to design games for any level of play and every kind of player, whether you're a beginner or a lifelong gamer," Mike Verdu, vice president of game development said at the time.

One of the new games out today is This Is A True Story, a narrative puzzle game that tells the story of a Sub-Saharan African woman's daily struggle to access water for her family.

"Here's a startling statistic: 771 million people on the planet don’t have access to clean and safe drinking water," the company said.

"In collaboration with Charity: Water, a nonprofit organisation bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries, Frosty Pop created this game.

"Based on actual interviews and experiences, the role-playing game allows players to explore a beautiful, hand-painted landscape all while surviving a windstorm, catching poachers, and even befriending a goat."

The charity's team has spent time in Africa interviewing several women whose real-life stories make up the experience in the game, the company said.

This Is A True Story screenshot
Photo credit: Supplied / Netflix

The other game released today is retro-inspired brick-breaking title Shatter Remastered, an updated version of 2009's award-winning game Shatter, originally released on the PlayStation 3.

The Shatter soundtrack was created by Kiwi musician Module and has around 90 minutes of original electronic-style music and was created by Aotearoa's PikPok Games.

The final game, which doesn't have a release date yet was also created by PikPok Games, has an additional Kiwi connection.

Into The Dead 2: Unleashed is a runner/shooter hybrid where the players have to do whatever it takes to save their family and survive the zombie apocalypse.

Mason - one of the characters in the game - is voiced by Kiwi actor Matt Whelan, who also featured in Netflix's Narcos.

Users on both Android and iOS can access the titles via a dedicated games row in the mobile app. Android users will also see a games tab at the bottom of the screen.

When users try to install games they are redirected to the Play Store or App Store depending on which platform they are on.

Technology writer and Apple analyst Mark Gurman said that's likely to change in the future, at least for Android users.

Writing in November, Gurman said the games would likely move to the same approach as television and movies, with all found and played within the app.

However, there are complications in offering the same on iOS

Apple's App Store rules prevent the likes of Xbox Cloud Gaming and Google Stadia from launching on iOS devices in "any meaningful way", Gurman said. 

That would require Apple to change its rules around all-in-one games services or grant it an exemption.