The video streaming giant Netflix is planning to expand its reach to the video gaming market. The OTT platform has made public the hiring of former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive, Mike Verdu, as its Vice President of Game Development.
The addition of Verdu was confirmed on Thursday which confirms the plans of the company trying to capitalize the opportunity of video games streaming which increased exponentially through the lockdown imposed due to the pandemic.
Separately, Netflix also announced that it is launching two new web services aimed to gain traction in lower age demographics – Kids Recap Email and Kids Top 10 row.
A source close to the development, revealed that Netflix is planning to expand its horizons by entering the video gaming market by next year. The video games might appear as a new genre in the OTT platform. THis could be similar to Netflix’s documentary and stand up specials and the new offering will possibly be rolled out at no extra charge.
According to a statement by a Netflix spokesperson: “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. Members also enjoy engaging more directly with stories they love – through interactive shows like Bandersnatch and You v. Wild, or games based on Stranger Things, La Casa de Papel and To All the Boys. So we’re excited to do more with interactive entertainment”.
After Verdu’s hiring he is said to report directly to Greg Peters, the Chief Operating Officer at Netflix.
Prior to this hiring he has worked most recently as VP of Content for Facebook Reality Labs including the new Oculus Quest and Quest 2.
Before Facebook, he was a part of Electronic Arts working as SVP of Mobile. He is responsible for mobile game studios that operated SimCity BuildIt, Plants vs. Zombies 2, Real Racing 3, The Sims Freeplay, The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, and other mobile game services.