WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Netflix may soon publish its own games.
- The streaming platform has hired former EA and Oculus exec Mike Verdu to lead its game-publishing team.
- Netflix has yet to confirm what style of video games they will offer, and what strategy they will use for subscription offers.
Netflix is setting up its own full-fledged game-publishing arm. According to Ars Technica, the streaming platform has hired former EA and Oculus exec Mike Verdu to lead the team.
Verdu has worked in game development and publishing since the early ’90s. His most recent work was with Facebook’s Oculus VR team. His first studio was Legend Entertainment and he was eventually acquired by GT Interactive.
According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, Netflix could offer “video games [as part of] its service in the next year.”
Netflix has not yet confirmed how its video game publishing would work in relation to their current service, however.
The streaming platform has previously dabbled in “choose your own adventure” interactive specials in addition to their 2018 special, Black Mirror‘s “Bandersnatch.” They have also showcased a growing list of exclusive shows based on video games, such as the animated series based on Castlevania, Dota 2, and a critically acclaimed, live-action version of The Witcher.
But we can expect a full-fledged videogame this time, though we have yet to see what type of game they will release.
Their timeline is not yet clear, but we have seen in the past how ambitious release timelines negatively impact game publishing efforts. For instance, Google had to close down its Stadia game development studios after two years of development and zero releases. Perhaps Netflix will have to do scaled-back releases or work with games that have been in the works for years prior.
The Netflix app already enjoys massive popularity. It remains to be seen, however, if the same app has the ability to support streamed games, and on all devices and operating systems. It’s also not yet clear whether it will need a constant online connection, and if Netflix can offer competitive, cloud-based button-tap latency.
There are still many questions left unanswered. We’ll just have to wait for more information and see how Netflix will perform against the growing list of gaming subscription services.
Source: ars TECHNICA