Netflix is reportedly getting into video game development
Netflix is reportedly looking to get into video game development and has hired a former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive to lead the venture. The move comes just months after we first heard that the streaming platform was looking to introduce an Apple Arcade-like gaming service sometime in 2022.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Netflix has hired Mike Verdu to help guide the company’s upcoming video game venture. Verdu will report to the company’s Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters, Netflix told Bloomberg. Before joining Netflix, Verdu has worked at Electronic Arts, Zynga, Atari, and Facebook. At Facebook, he was the Vice President in charge of working with developers to bring games and other content to Oculus headsets.
Currently, discussions are ongoing in private, but the idea is that Netflix’s game offerings will be included as part of the current subscription. Users won’t need to shell out any more cash to use the service, and Netflix aims to have video games rolled out within the next year. Games will likely appear as a new genre alongside other content, similar to what the company did with stand-up specials and documentaries. It is unclear how the service will function and whether or not games will be fully streamed à la Google Stadia or be downloaded at runtime and then launched.
A person familiar with the matter said that Netflix will be building out its gaming division in the coming months and that the platform will use the addition of video games to lure new people into the service. Netflix has already stepped lightly into the gaming sphere, with offerings like the Stranger Things mobile game. The company has also dabbled in interactive experiences, like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, a choose your own adventure game in a movie format. We’re likely not going to hear about a launch until 2022 at the earliest.