After months of speculation, Netflix has signaled its intention to get into the gaming business after confirming the hiring of Mike Verdu, a key figure in the gaming industry with high-profile experience at Oculus, Electronic Arts, Zynga and Atari. owned by Facebook.
Verdu is being brought in to build and lead a team at Netflix that specializes in publishing games, the video streaming giant confirmed to multiple media outlets on Wednesday July 14th.
Netflix has yet to make an official announcement about the exact nature of its gaming ambitions, but Bloomberg’s well-connected Mark Gurman said the company intends to offer subscribers games “within the next year” on its platform.
One knowledgeable person told Gurman that Netflix doesn’t plan to charge additional fees for game content, which means current subscribers are getting a lot more bang for their buck – if they’re interested in games.
Verdu will report to Netflix Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters, who highlighted the company’s gaming ambitions during a recent conference call and said there was “no doubt that gaming will be an important form of entertainment and immersion” . this fan experience. “
The California-based streaming platform hopes the addition of a whole new thread to its offering will attract new people to its service and cement the loyalty of current subscribers as it continues to compete with dozens of competitors including Disney +, Hulu and Apple TV +.
In other efforts, Netflix has also expanded the podcast section with shows linked to its content.
In its last quarterly report in April, Netflix saw a slowdown in its global subscriber growth, increasing just four million from the previous quarter to 208 million. The company claimed this was due in part to the pandemic that disrupted new productions, causing a drop in production that may have resulted in some people looking elsewhere. The company added that expanding its subscriber base for the quarter ended March 31 will always be a challenge.
By entering gaming, Netflix hopes to further strengthen its base, especially in its home market, where growth has been particularly sluggish.