Netflix taps former EA executive to lead video game efforts

PHOTO: Pixabay

After taking the entertainment world by storm with its increasing slew of original works, anime titles, and popular shows, Netflix is ready to set the wheels in motion for its next big plan that involves an expansion into video games.

PHOTO: Pexels

The streamer, according to Bloomberg, could offer games as part of its subscription service sometime within the next year, without charging extra for the experience.

Mike Verdu, formerly of the EA and Facebook / Oculus fame, has been brought onboard the project as vice president of game development, with the rest of the gaming team set to be filled out in the coming months to mark the company’s first move beyond films and TV shows.

With efforts focused on establishing an internal department, future subscribers can likely expect original gaming titles in the lineup, rather than those from external developers, though Netflix will probably include both in time to come. As it stands, the company has already started advertising for game development-related positions on its website – even if the word ‘gaming’ isn’t specifically mentioned.

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Netflix is reportedly looking to expand into videogames
Netflix is reportedly looking to expand into videogames

While the expansion plan may seem like a weird move on the part of Netflix, it actually makes a lot of sense when one considers the highly-competitive market. The streamer may have its own slate of exclusive and original titles, but so do Amazon Prime and Disney+, which brings up the need for more standout content apart from viewing options.

Besides, it’s not like the company doesn’t have any past similar experience to work with. In addition to a handful of original games showcased at its E3 2019 debut, it also has interactive features like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Carmen Sandiego to draw inspiration from.

The main concern now would be whether Netflix can pull off a successful gaming subscription service where Amazon and Google have both failed miserably.

Microsoft’s investment in the Game Pass platform is paying off really well, with its growing success promoting other tech giants to follow in its footsteps. Alas, the odds have yet to favour anyone who isn’t, well, Sony or Microsoft, but hey, maybe third time’s the charm?

This article was first published in Geek Culture.