Netflix has announced that it will venture into mobile gaming — just a few days after former EA and Oculus executive Mike Verdu became the streaming platform’s vice president of game development.
As fans await news on what to expect in the company’s upcoming games, Netflix expanded its contract with Shonda Rhimes to give way to future video game adaptations, meaning that Bridgerton could be turned into a game.
Within 28 days of its release on 25 December 2020, Bridgerton achieved 82 million views on the streaming platform, making it the most successful debut of a Netflix original series. The period drama even beat the biggest linear television shows in terms of viewership.
In a letter to shareholders, Netflix stated that it wants to develop mobile video games to reinforce interactivity on the app.
“Initially, we’ll be primarily focused on games for mobile devices. We’re excited as ever about our movies and TV series offering and we expect a long runway of increasing investment and growth across all of our existing content categories, but since we are nearly a decade into our push into original programming, we think the time is right to learn more about how our members value games,” wrote Netflix.
The company added that members will be able to enjoy games without paying an extra fee on top of the subscription cost.
So far, Netflix has a couple of games under its belt. In 2018, the platform unveiled the interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, letting viewers decide on the fate of the story’s main character. A year before that, Netflix kicked off the Stranger Things video game franchise with Stranger Things: The Game. It was followed by Stranger Things 3: The Game on 4 July 2019, accompanying the third season of the hit sci-fi show.
As the streaming wars between competing entertainment companies continue, Netflix recently lost 430,000 American and Canadian subscribers, alluding to the pandemic to explain the ups and downs in membership.
“COVID has created some lumpiness in our membership growth (higher growth in 2020, slower growth this year), which is working its way through. We continue to focus on improving our service for our members and bringing them the best stories from around the world,” Netflix detailed in the letter.
Aside from TV shows and films, Netflix aims to establish itself in the mobile games sector in the hopes of widening its on-demand consumption catalogue.
Written by Sophia Lopez