Netflix announced today it’s introducing a new feature to its games service that will allow its members to create game handles when they’re playing its exclusive titles. TechCrunch had previously reported the feature was in development and had been quietly tested on select titles, including Into The Breach, Bowling Ballers, Mahjong Solitaire and Heads Up. Now, the option is rolling out more broadly to members across both iOS and Android devices, the company says.
The game handles allow Netflix subscribers to create a unique username that can be used across Netflix’s games, including multiplayer titles like Rival Pirates, where the handles could help identify players, or in other games which include leaderboards like Dominoes Café and Lucky Luna, for example.
Netflix also notes game handles will help players discover other gamers, make friends and play with each other.
These social features were also spotted in development recently, as references in the mobile app’s code suggested the company was working on ways users could invite one another to play games, show when they’re online with a status and more. At the time, however, Netflix didn’t comment on the developments, saying only that it was “exploring different features to enrich the Netflix mobile games experience.”
To use the new game handles feature, Netflix users will first need to download the mobile games onto their device and then sign in with their Netflix credentials. On iOS, the games Rival Pirates and Lucky Luna will allow you to select your in-game handle upon launch. On Android, the experience is easier as you can simply navigate to the Games tab within the Netflix app and tap on the banner that says “Create your Netflix game handle.”
By using game handles, Netflix members can play games and find friends without having to reveal their personal information, like their Netflix account name or real name. But it also sets the stage for more robust gaming experiences in the future, where game handles could be essential to gameplay or could allow for other ways of interacting with fellow gamers.
Netflix suggests that there’s still more in store on this front, today saying in its announcement that “this feature is only the beginning in building a tailored game experience for our members around the world.”
The company confirmed the lineup of games that support game handles as of today’s launch include Into The Breach, Bowling Ballers, Mahjong Solitaire, Heads Up! Netflix Edition and Wild Things: Animal Adventures. However, only Rival Pirates, Lucky Luna and Dominoes Cafe allow players to use their game handles within the game for the time being.