A youngster turns the dial on her radio in a murky cave on a desolate island and hears weird sounds. The frequency causes a spatial fissure, endangering her pals.
It’s a scene from “Oxenfree,” a magical adventure story about bereavement and growing up.
“Oxenfree” isn’t a TV show or a movie; it’s a mobile phone game that may be played for hours. It’s also one of 35 free games accessible to Netflix customers via the Netflix mobile app. The streaming behemoth intends to increase that number to around 50 by the end of the year.
“Games symbolise a synthesis of creativity and technology, which makes them a natural next step for Netflix, a firm that is also balanced between creativity and technology, art and science,” said Mike Verdu, Netflix’s vice president of games who formerly worked for Facebook and Electronic Arts. “We aim to provide our (223 million) members with the best entertainment experiences possible, which includes fantastic games.”
Netflix’s foray into gaming comes as the Los Gatos, California-based company faces increasing pressure to diversify its business and increase its subscriber base as rivals such as Disney+ and HBO Max offer a greater competitive threat.
Responding to declining subscription numbers, Netflix cut off hundreds earlier this year and reversed its long-standing opposition to running ads on the network. Its prospects improved last week with the announcement that it added 2.4 million members in the previous quarter.