Netflix expands into games with Stranger Things

Netflix unveiling games based on Stranger Things 3 and The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.
Netflix unveiling games based on Stranger Things 3 and The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK • Netflix wants to cast a wider entertainment net.

It is unveiling new video games based on its shows, stepping up efforts to turn its streaming platform into a multimedia empire.

Stranger Things 3: The Game, based on the popular teen television series, will come out on July 4, the same day the third season of the show debuts.

Netflix has also licensed The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance - a prequel series to the 1982 Jim Henson film - for a game that will debut later this year.

The company is not developing or producing the video games, opting instead to license the characters to outside studios.

Netflix is just starting to explore the possibility of turning its movies and TV shows into other products, and Stranger Things has been its guinea pig.

The company licensed a Stranger Things mobile game in 2017 and has since struck deals for Stranger Things T-shirts, Coca-Cola bottles and ice cream.

A new mobile game will debut next year.

Some of these promotions are just marketing stunts designed to drive more viewers to its original series. Netflix still generates virtually all its sales from subscriptions to its streaming service, the world's largest paid online TV network.

But both merchandise and video games could become new revenue streams.

"We're looking for opportunities to extend the universe of these shows and films into other mediums," said Mr Chris Lee, director of interactive games at Netflix, during a panel discussion at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. "To me, it was really obvious to try to do that with video games."

Netflix is still in the experimental stage. Its first two games will be available on most major gaming consoles as well as PCs.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2019, with the headline 'Netflix expands into games with Stranger Things'. Print Edition | Subscribe