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Netflix sets sights on video games, hires EA Mobile and CCO Mike Verdu

First set of games expected to arrive in next 12 months

Netflix sets sights on video games, hires EA Mobile and CCO Mike Verdu

Netflix has hired former EA and Facebook games executive Mike Verdu as its vice president of game development,

As reported by Bloomberg, Verdu previously held the same position at Facebook where he helped lead the social media giant's efforts in VR and AR, aiding developers in bringing their games to Oculus. In addition to this, Verdu was the senior vice president at EA Mobile and chief creative officer and co-president of games at Zynga.

Netflix is set to add its first set of games within the next 12 months, according to the report. Games will be added to the service at no extra cost, though it's possible the company could leverage this in future for a price increase. No details on what sort of games will arrive have been disclosed.

In the past, several Netflix shows have received video game adaptations, such as Stranger Things: The Game. While Netflix was not involved in the direct development of the game, it did license the rights to its production. The streaming service aims to take a more hands-on approach to game development going forward.

Video game-esque experiences have also been available to subscribers in the form of interactive decision-based TV shows - Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Minecraft: Story Mode being the prime examples. These interactive experiences could be played across most platforms -  including through the Netflix mobile app.

Variety value

"Our members value the variety and quality of our content. It’s why we’ve continually expanded our offering–from series to documentaries, film, local language originals and reality TV,” said a spokesperson for Netflix (via GameSpot).

Netflix has surely taken notice of the growing mainstream popularity of video games. It already has plans to release more shows based off gaming IP, including an animated League of Legends and Tomb Raider series.

Most notably, the platform adapted The Witcher and Castlevania to a strong reception. The former will receive a second season later this year with Henry Cavill returning to the lead role. 

PocketGamer.biz has reached out to Netflix for further comment.

Rumours began circulating earlier this year that Netflix was planning a gaming-subscription service, similar to that of Apple Arcade.


Staff Writer

Aaron Orr is a freelance writer for PocketGamer.biz with a lifelong interest and passion for the games industry.

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