July 14, 2021 – Netflix (NFLX) announced Wednesday that it plans to expand into video games and has hired a former Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA) and Facebook, Inc. executive to serve as VP of Game Development at Netflix, according to Bloomberg.
While many think this to be a strange move by Netflix, it’s anything but. Remember, Netflix is a media company that has successfully penetrated the homes of hundreds of millions of consumers with TV and movie content. However, gaming was never not on the table, looking back to a statement the company made in 2019 at E3 about a mobile game it planned to release based on the “Stranger Things” series.
Earlier in 2019, a a shareholder letter pointed out that when Epic Games created Fortnite, it presented a very serious competition for the media company. As of Wednesday, Netflix shares rose 2% in extended trading, with shares gaining as much as 2.8% to $563.45 in premarket trading Thursday.
Mike Verdu, Netflix’s recent hire and former Facebook executive, previously served as the company’s vice president of augmented reality and virtual reality content. He was in charge of working with developers to bring games and other content to Oculus virtual reality headsets.
Prior to his two year employment at Facebook, Verdu worked at gaming companies Electronic Arts, Zynga, Atari, and Kabam dating back to the late 1990s. Verdu will be reporting to Netflix’s Chief Operating Officer, Greg Peters.
This move by Netflix shows the media company’s seriousness in becoming an industry contender against Amazon, Google, and Microsoft who have had a head start in the video gaming sector.
I spoke with TICKER News about why Netflix’s announcement is a major move that aims to dethrone its competitors:
Source: Ticker News
In Bloomberg’s breaking news report, it stated that evidence surfaced if Netflix’s plans to add games already appearing in files deep within the company’s app, based on research provided by iOS developer Steve Moser to Bloomberg.
What has yet to be determined is whether Netflix will increase user subscription prices for access to gaming content, or whether paying users will already have access to future gaming content. As of Wednesday, a company source, who wished to remain anonymous said it didn’t currently plan to charge extra for the content, but refused to go any further due to ongoing, private deliberations.
Video games give Netflix another way to lure new customers to its streaming platform, while providing something that no other competitor currently offers: an all-in-one streaming platform that has TV, Movies, and Games.
Netflix anticipates building out its gaming team in the coming months, according to sources close to Netflix’s announcement.