We found out that streaming giant Netflix is planning on getting into the world of video games back in May, with the company looking for an established games industry exec to come on board for the venture. Now, according to Bloomberg, it’s hired its first one: Mike Verdu, previously of EA Mobile and Oculus/Facebook.
Gaming is Netflix’s new fix
Netflix has reportedly taken Verdu on board as vice president of game development. Verdu has previously worked with several mobile games companies, and even headed up EA Mobile for a year. He’s recently been working for Facebook, specifically in the realm of various Oculus titles. We just hope he had no say in Facebook’s recent attempts to bring ads into Oculus games.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, Netflix will be expanding its games development team further in the coming months, and is currently advertising game-dev positions on its website. The current roadmap points towards video games coming to the platform sometime next year, and will be bundled into a new category alongside existing program genres. They’ll be accessible as part of a standard subscription, no extra purchases required.
As much as it seems a little out of left field, we’d say it’s a natural next step for the streaming giant. Even before the pandemic drove us into its arms to escape boredom and existential dread, Netflix already had a tremendous and largely captive audience. It’s also dabbled in the interactive entertainment sphere, with things like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and a few licensed Stranger Things games.
The platform also has a vast swathe of IPs in its arsenal, Netflix has the potential to release games with built-in and dedicated fan bases, which sounds to us like an attractive pay-day.