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Gaming Platform Wars | Netflix now has a VP of Game Development

We have all heard the phrase “the Netflix of gaming” or “like Netflix but for gaming” when describing Cloud Gaming services, according to a new report from Bloomberg, Netlfix has hired a former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive, Mark Verdu to lead the expansion into gaming as VP of Game Development.

Mike Verdu was previously in charge of working with developers to bring games to Oculus VR devices. Over the course of many weeks, Netflix has approached “veteran game industry executives” to join the company. Netflix has dabbled in the game industry with the game “Stanger Things” that it worked on with an outside developer, but the company may be looking to make serious investments in one of the most lucrative tech categories. Netflix already has published and produced many “games” like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Minecraft Story Mode and have produced many game adaptations into TV shows like the popular The Witcher series and Castlevania.

Nvidia Shield with prominent Netflix branding

One option being discussed is a subscription model similar to Apple Arcade where you subscribe to play a “bundle of games.” But perhaps a business model more like Xbox Game Pass which is like Netflix would work better.

Netflix’s official statement is, “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.”

While Netflix’s plans are still not quite clear, the company hiring a new VP of Game development would suggest Netflix is serious and Netflix Gaming is coming.

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.

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