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Netflix plans to expand to video game category

By Maria Pamela Reyes Published Jul 15, 2021 3:36 pm

Streaming giant, Netflix is planning to expand its horizons beyond TV and movie streaming to create and offer their own video games.

Recently, Netflix has hired a former Electronic Arts and Facebook/Oculus executive to be one of the leads for the development of the company’s newest venture. Mike Verdu is tapped to be the vice president of game development, under chief operating officer Greg Peters.

Verdu previously worked on The Sims, Plants vs. Zombies, mobile gaming companies like Zynga, and a number of Oculus game developers like BigBox VR.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the plan is to offer video games on Netflix’s streaming platform within the next year. This means the games are pretty much the same as any other categories found in the Netflix application. Viewers can simply scroll through different genres found in the streaming site, like documentaries or anime as usual and will find the new category. Currently, Netflix has no plans to charge extra for the upcoming content.

In terms of experimenting for new content, Netflix doesn’t shy away from it. Netflix has started its video game-like journey when they decided to incorporate interactive shows in their roster a few years ago. Similar to role-playing games, viewers had the freedom to choose their own adventure type of viewing experience. Shows such as Black Mirror, Carmen Sandiego, and a few other kids shows were used to cater to such style.

However, licensing video games versus creating them are very much different. With Netflix, plans to create their own can be quite worrisome, given that even its biggest competitors like Disney and Warner Bros. have simply opted to just license their own games rather than creating them. Then again, Netflix values the hours customers spend on their site—and who are their other competitors when it comes to this? That’s right, home consoles and video games.