Netflix hires former EA exec, could start offering video games within the next year
Why it matters: It seems that Netflix’s push into video games could bear fruit within the next year. That’s according to a new report that claims the streaming service has hired former Electronic Arts (EA) and Facebook executive Mike Verdu as its vice president of game development.
We heard back in May that Netflix was looking for a new executive to oversee its expansion into the lucrative video game businesses. The company said at the time that it was “excited to do more with interactive entertainment.” Now, Bloomberg reports that Netflix has found its exec.
In addition to reportedly hiring Oculus content VP Verdu, who co-founded 1990s adventure game studio Legend Entertainment and worked on mobile games while at EA, including The Sims, Plants vs. Zombies and Star Wars franchises, Netflix reportedly plans to add to its gaming team over the coming months and has started advertising game-related positions on its website. It aims to offer video games on its platform within the next year, where they will appear as a new genre, much like the company did with documentaries and stand-up specials.
Exactly what Netflix classes as a video game is yet to be determined; they’re likely to be closer to interactive experiences such as the excellent Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Minecraft: Story Mode—at least at first. But that could evolve into something more traditional. It doesn’t plan to charge extra to access the games, though they could be used to justify a future subscription price hike.
Netflix certainly understands the value of games. It has a slew of content based on popular titles, including Resident Evil, Dragon’s Dogma, Castlevania, DOTA: Dragon’s Blood, and many more. There are also numerous game-based animated and live-action shows in the works.