Netflix is reportedly eyeing an expansion into video games, and it hired a former Electronic Arts and Oculus executive as Vice President of Game Development to spearhead the effort. According to Bloomberg, the company will include video games “within the next year,” which means people might see them by 2022. [Thanks, Bloomberg!]
The newly-hired Vice President of Game Development Mike Verdu previously served as Vice President of VR/AR at Facebook, Senior Vice President at EA Mobile, and CCO at Zynga. Verdu will report to Chief Operating Officer Gregory Peters. Netflix already posted other job openings looking for people to head its interactive” division.
As mentioned in the job listing, Netflix already produced “game-like” titles before. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, for example, is a choose-your-own-adventure style story that allowed viewers to decide what the main character would do next. Minecraft: Story Mode appears on the service too. Additionally, Netflix also licensed its IPs before. Stranger Things appears in games like Dead By Daylight and Rocket League, and there are original titles inspired by it. Narcos inspired Narcos: Rise of the Cartels.
In a previous earnings call back in April 2021, Peters stated that the addition of games is an extension of the company’s business of creating “amazing deep universes and compelling characters.” Peters added that games will be “an important form of entertainment” that the company hopes to continue learning from and figure out.
Most recently, Netflix helped produce and is now streaming Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness.