Netflix Gaming Tests Customizable Usernames, Leaderboard Rankings

Netflix is testing social gaming features for its catalogue of mobile games — reports TechCrunch.

One such feature, known as “game handles” has already rolled out for a subset of the games available on Netflix. Meanwhile, references have been found within the Netflix app’s code to more social features like leaderboards and co-op play with friends that are currently in development.

Netflix added mobile games to its platform in November of last year. The company has since acquired game studios and expanded its selection of games as it pushes farther into the gaming space in an attempt to enrich its value proposition for subscribers.

Netflix describes a “game handle” as “a unique public name for playing games on Netflix.” The company first introduced game handles to the game Into The Breach on July 19, followed by other titles like Bowling Ballers, Mahjong Solitaire, and Heads Up!

“Your profile icon and name will not be visible to others playing Netflix Games,” Netflix explains about game handles. This basically means that players can be known by a nickname instead of the name on their Netflix profile. Handles will also be used when “you play with other members,” according to code found within the Netflix app.

In addition, the code also suggests Netflix is working on leaderboards so users can see how they stack up against other players. Another section makes references to the ability for users to display to others if they’re online and if they want to play, and even invite their friends to play with them.

“We are always looking to improve our member’s experience on the service and are exploring different features to enrich the Netflix mobile games experience,” a Netflix spokesperson told TechCrunch in a statement. “We don’t have anything else to share at this time.”

Netflix Games has reportedly seen light engagement from the streamer’s vast user base, with just 1.7 million daily active players. That said, the service is on the rise and had its best month yet for game downloads in July.

Previous reports indicated that Netflix has big plans for the future of games on its platform, and social features are likely just one piece of that puzzle. Perhaps most interestingly, several job listings from Netflix suggest the company has ambitions for a full-fledged cloud gaming service.

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