Netflix may be a TV show, movie and game streaming platform in the near future. According to Bloomberg, the company has hired Mike Verdu, a former Oculus and EA exec, as vice president of game development. Verdu was the VP of augmented and virtual reality games and content at Facebook, where he worked with developers for the Oculus Rift, Quest and Go. From 2017 to 2018, he was also the head of EA Mobile and oversaw the studios that worked on Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, SimCity BuildIt, Plants vs. Zombies and Sims Free Play, among others.
The company will reportedly build out its gaming team in the coming months to be able to start offering games for streaming within the next year. Netflix isn’t exactly inexperienced in the area and previously developed games based on its popular shows. However, it released those titles on mobile and consoles — Bloomberg says the company won’t be making a separate platform for its upcoming video games and will instead make them available alongside its shows and movies under their own category. Also, the streaming giant reportedly has no plans to charge extra for game access, though it’s unclear if the additional content will lead to a future price hike.
With competitors popping up left and right, Netflix has been looking for ways to grow and make sure it stays ahead, especially in saturated markets like the US. Adding video games to its repertoire seems to be the answer it came up with recently. The Information first reported that the company was seeking to hire an executive who’d oversee its expansion into video games back in May. Apparently, Netflix approached several veteran execs in the industry regarding the position. Back then, a company spokesperson told The Information:
“Our members value the variety and quality of our content. It’s why we’ve continually expanded our offering— from series to documentaries, film, local language originals and reality TV. Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love — through interactive shows like Bandersnatch and You v. Wild, or games based on Stranger Things, L Casa de Papel and To All the Boys. So we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment.”
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