Netflix continues to make steps toward becoming a video game developer and creating a platform to play games with their most recent hire.
Mike Verdu, whose former roles included Electronic Arts executive, CCO of Zynga Inc., and more recently, Facebook’s vice president in charge of working with developers for Oculus virtual reality headsets, has just been hired to become Netflix’s vice president in charge of game development. He will report to COO Greg Peters, according to Bloomberg. Verdu has worked on previous Sims titles, Star Wars franchises, Plants vs. Zombies, and many other notable titles.
Netflix hopes to have playable video games available on their streaming app next year. No plans to increase subscription costs are expected, according to someone familiar with the deal.
In an already crowded market of streaming services like Disney +, HBO Max, Paramount Plus, and many others, Netflix still remains dominant but is seeing far less new subscribers than expected every quarter. Becoming a hub for video games would be an ambitious step for the media giant, one that their counterparts have not tapped into.
Netflix will be building its gaming teams within the coming months, with an open position in Director of Product Innovation – Interactive, available to apply for now on their main website.
News of this hire has jolted Netflix stock by 2.8%, as well as GameStop’s stock as well, which has seen as much as a 7% drop in the last week.
There’s no word on what types of games they plan to develop or their strategy for releases and titles, so don’t expect big budget titles right out of the gate. They may play it safe for now and not be too ambitious.
Is this a bold move for Netflix, and is it one that will pay off? Or will it crash similar to Amazon’s quest into video game development? Sound off in the comments below or on our Boss Rush Discord channel!