Netflix is slowly adding social features to its games service

Netflix has added a gamertag system to some of its games, with more social features apparently in the pipeline.

“Game handles”, a unique and public username, were first spotted in the Netflix app by Steve Moser (later reported by Tech Crunch).

The launch of this feature happened quietly last month and is currently only available for some of Netflix’s games, including Into the Breach, Mahjong Solitaire and Heads Up!. Only letters and numbers can be used in handles, which will be displayed publicly while playing instead of a profile icon and name.

Tech Crunch also reported more social features are mentioned in the app’s code, namely leaderboards and inviting others to play together. Emma Roth of The Verge corroborated this in her report where she tested the process of creating a game handle in-app, and found descriptions of how the leaderboard and invitations would be used in tandem with game handles.

Both Tech Crunch and The Verge approached Netflix for comment. Netflix spokesperson Kumiko Hidaka confirmed to The Verge that the game handles were added last month, but was unable to clarify if they would be added to more games in the future. “We are always looking to improve our member’s [sic] experience on the service,” Hidaka said, “and are exploring different features to enrich the Netflix mobile games experience.” Hidaka added that Netflix “don’t have anything else to share at this time”.

Netflix’s games service has yet to take off. At the beginning of the month, it was revealed that less than one percent of subscribers engaged with the service on a daily basis.

Netflix has other games related offerings – the many adaptations of video games in the works, such as Horizon Zero Dawn, BioShock, and the Cyberpunk 2077 anime. The company may be hoping that these will bolster its subscriber count after a drop of one million between April and July.