Report: Netflix wants to add games “by next year”
Netflix will expand its streaming service to include video games “within the next year,” according to a Bloomberg report. The streaming platform hired former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive Mike Verdu to lead the project.
A report from The Information in May suggested that Netflix was looking for a video game industry executive to expand its streaming lineup. It was reported at the time that Netflix was considering a “bundle” of games, like Apple Arcade. However, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that games from Netflix’s video game expansion will be added to the company’s current selections – “similar to what Netflix has done with documentaries or stand-up specials,” according to the report. The games won’t cost more, at least at this stage of the planning, he said.
Verdu has worked on The Sims, Plants vs. Zombies and Star Wars franchises. Netflix plans to hire more positions in its games division “in the coming months,” Bloomberg said.
A Netflix spokesperson told Gameserver in May that the company was “excited to do more with interactive entertainment.”
Netflix has already produced games, alongside third-party developers: a Strange things mobile game and Stranger Things 3: The Game are among its titles. Netflix is also known for experimenting with interactive experiences through its streaming platform. In 2018, he created Black mirror: Bandersnatch, a “Choose your own adventure” style film; he developed this idea in 2020 for an interactive episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. TV shows and movies inspired by the game are also increasingly common as part of Netflix’s original programming, with shows based on Dota, Castlevania, and The Witcher. More shows inspired by video games, based on Magic: The Gathering, Sonic the hedgehog, and League of Legends also arrive.
Famous, Netflix said its biggest competition for attention is do not other streaming platforms. It’s games like Fortnite which Netflix competes and loses with, the company said in 2019. More and more companies are trying to create what Epic Games calls its “Metaverse,” a virtual world that is more than a video game. Fortnite and its gameplay remains a major draw for gamers, but video games are now also important social worlds. Gamers have always used these spaces as social hubs, but video game companies are adapting existing structures to add even more opportunities. Not only can gamers chat with friends while playing games Fortnite and Roblox, but now people can watch movies and attend concerts live.
Singular platforms are designed to gain our attention more and more, and Netflix certainly wants a part of that.