Netflix could move beyond the realm of movies into video games within the next year — and it's even hired a former EA and Facebook veteran to lead the charge.
In a move that has felt increasingly likely over the last year following a slew of reports of a possible Netflix for games, we appear to be inching closer to an official unveiling of such a platform with news that Netflix sees gaming as a logical next step to keep growing in saturated markets.
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According to Bloomberg (opens in new tab), Netflix wants games to appear natively in-app as a new genre tab. So, instead of sitting down for your regular boxset marathon in the evening, you may in the near future choose to flick through a library of games. Even better, still, Netflix reportedly won't charge extra for the gaming content, to begin with.
The knowledge gap that exists in turning an idea of a Netflix for games into a workable streaming product is clearly something the company is keen to plug. The hiring of Mike Verdu (opens in new tab) as its new vice president of game development puts an experienced industry vet in place to head up the move, with Netflix apparently looking to flesh out its gaming team over the next few months. Bloomberg has spotted a series of advertisements for game-related vacancies on its website (opens in new tab), which signals the direction Netflix is now traveling in.
The debate over whether Netflix could successfully turn its hand to an Apple Arcade-style platform will no doubt wage on, but you probably wouldn't want to bet against a platform that remains the all-time category leader and is, in all probability, the streaming company that the likes of Disney Plus, Paramount Plus and so on, deep-down strive to be. Though that's probably hard to admit to yourself when vying for streaming supremacy in an extremely saturated market.
And while the world just about starts to mount a fightback against a year-long and unduly terrible pandemic, Netflix's profits have continued to rise (opens in new tab) by merit of the fact that it's a service that's been available 24/7 when people have had to stay at home.
If anyone can branch out from a regular video streaming platform into the unexplored and untrodden territory of game-streaming, our money is on Netflix to have the reach and gusto to get the right people in place to do so.