Netflix have hired a Vice President of Game Development, and will reportedly be offering video games in 2022.
Bloomberg reports Mike Verdu will be joining Netflix as their Vice President of Game Development. He is the former Facebook VP of AR/VR content, Electronic Arts SVP of EA Mobile, Zynga Chief Creative Officer, Co-President of Games, and more gaming related pedigree.
In addition, Bloomberg reports that “according to a person familiar with the situation” Netflix will offer video games as part of its streaming platform in 2022; appearing as a genre akin to documentaries or stand-up specials. However, Netflix is not currently planning to increase their prices for this feature, but on-going deliberations are still private.
Bloomberg sources also note Netflix will be adding to their gaming team over the next few months, with a Director of Product Innovation, Interactive already being requested. Then again, the listing discusses “new types of stories and new product experiences that enhance & deepen member engagement,” and what sounds more akin to interactive TV and film such as Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
Netflix have publicly stated their interest in interactive entertainment, after insider sources claimed the same. Those sources claimed an Apple Arcade style service was discussed.
In theory; Netflix could produce their own shows to advertise upcoming video games, and vice-versa. Or, forgo any true games development for interactive entertainment; marketed to gamers. On the other hand, Netflix could feature third party video games, such as those they have adapted into animated and live-action series and films.
An entertainment subscription model with video games would put Netflix in more direct competition with Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft may encroach on Netflix’ territory first however, as they have stated an interest in working with smart TV manufacturers to “embed the Xbox experience directly” for cloud gaming and Xbox Game Pass.
We will keep you informed as we learn more.