It seems that Netflix is planning to move into video games! According to Bloomberg, Netflix has hired Mike Verdu as vice president of game development. Verdu has previously worked at Electronic Arts, and with Facebook as the vice president working with developers for the Oculus team. At this time, additional details are limited, but Netflix has previously indicated its desire to expand into the world of video game streaming. The company has dabbled in interactive offerings like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend, but Verdu's hiring shows that the company has much bigger video game plans for the future.
Video game streaming has attracted significant attention from a lot of companies over the last few years. It's hard to say whether or not Netflix will be able to succeed, but the company has a subscriber base that could help, where options like Google Stadia have been struggling.
Right now, Xbox Game Pass is probably the closest thing that the video game industry has to a Netflix type service, offering subscribers more than 100 games that can be downloaded. The service also offers games that can be streamed to various devices, but the options are much more limited than those that can be directly downloaded. Presumably, Netflix's service would be all streaming.
Netflix's foray into gaming should be interesting to watch! Verdu's history in the industry should help the company find talented developers willing to make their games accessible through the service. Of course, there are still a lot of questions that come with today's announcement, chiefly whether or not this will be a separate service, or part of the main Netflix package. The latter makes more sense, but will likely result in some kind of price increase. Whether or not gamers will find that price point worth the investment remains to be seen.
Many companies see video game streaming as the future of the industry, and it's not hard to see why! There's a strong appeal, and a company like Netflix could be the one to make it mainstream. Many thought the same thing about Google Stadia however, and that service has struggled in the absence of true exclusive titles. Time will tell if Netflix can find greater success!
Are you interested to see what Netflix does with video games? How much would you be willing to pay? Let us know in the comments or share directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!