Netflix may soon be offering video games to its subscribers in addition to its usual content.
According to a Bloomberg report on the matter, the popular streaming company intends to offer video games on its streaming platform in 2022 as a new programming genre. The report credits the information to a person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be named due to the private nature of the deliberations.
The person also said that Netflix is not currently planning to charge extra for its video games, meaning that the company’s video games may be included in the current subscription plans.
Netflix has also hired Mike Verdu as its vice president of game development, who will report to the company’s chief operating officer, Greg Peters. Verdu was previously Facebook’s former vice president of virtual reality/augmented reality Content for Oculus, and before that, Electronic Arts’ (EA) senior vice president for its mobile division.
The Bloomberg report mentioned that Netflix will be building out its gaming team in the coming months. To that effect, the company recently advertised game development-related job openings on its website.
Although the company is doing well in terms of subscriber count, it has not achieved the expected count in the first quarter of 2021. Experts believe that Netflix needs to add something to its repertoire to further grow as a business due to its underwhelming growth during the last quarter.
This move by Netflix was not as surprising as many believe. A Screen Rant report on 21 May 2021 said that reports about the company meeting up with game industry executives surfaced and that it is contemplating on releasing a “bundle of games similar to Apple’s online subscription offering, Apple Arcade” .
Netflix also responded to the reports of its gaming division back then, saying that its members value the variety and quality of its streaming content and they also enjoy “engaging more directly with stories they love” like Bandersnatch and You v. Wild.
A Screen Rant report discussing Netflix’s move has not made it clear if Netflix will outsource game development to other video game developers like Ubisoft or Capcom or if they will develop their own games themselves.
Regardless of Netflix’s direction in regards to game development, the company will face the same challenges that brought down Google’s cloud gaming service, Google Stadia; Amazon’s cancelled Lord of the Rings MMO; Crucible, Amazon’s free multiplayer shooter; Amazon’s own cloud gaming service, Luna, which was more successful than Google Stadia; and Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which will allow subscribers to stream video games on any device.
Written by John Paul Joaquin