Netflix launches Game Controller app for playing games on your TV

The new Netflix Games Controller app icon against a red background.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix has launched a new app that will soon allow subscribers to play games on their TV. The app, called Netflix Game Controller, will transform your phone into a controller that you can use to play games through Netflix's platform.

Back in 2021, Netflix launched several mobile games that are free for subscribers to play through the service on your phone, including Stranger Things: 1984 and Shooting Hoops. The mobile game library has expanded since then, with more than 63 titles available at the time of writing. 

Since the launch of Netflix's mobile games, the company has been open about its plans to expand into cloud-based gaming. Back in 2022 at the TechCrunch Disrupt event, Netflix VP of Gaming Mike Verdu told the audience that Netflix was “exploring a cloud gaming offering.” 

Right now it's not clear which games will be available for you to play on your TV with your new games controller (read: iPhone) and whether these will be Netflix's mobile games we're already familiar with. But we're excited to see whether the mobile controller will be a hit.

Will cloud gaming push Netflix to new heights?

Several cloud gaming services have failed in the past, most famously Google's Stadia. Will Netflix rise where similar offerings fell? 

Right now it's difficult to say. It's promising that Netflix already has an established subscriber base. And anything the platform can do to make switching from streaming boxsets to gaming easy and seamless is going to be a smart move – using your phone as a controller is a good start.

While we wait for Netflix's cloud-based game offering to officially launch, take this opportunity to get into mobile games. Not sure which service is best? Read our Apple Arcade vs Netflix Games guide.

Becca Caddy

Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.