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Will Netflix Soon have Original Games?

According to a Bloomberg Report, Netflix will begin streaming games “in the next year”. The report details how the streaming platform has hired former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive, Mike Verdu, to lead the project. Could this be the start of Netflix Original Games?

This news will not come as a surprise to those who have been following rumours since May where a report from ‘The Information’ detailed that Netflix was planning on ‘expanding’ its streaming lineup. Bloomberg reported that games in Netflix’s video game ‘expansion’ will be added alongside the company’s current selections — “similar to what Netflix did with documentaries or stand-up specials”. Allegedly games won’t cost extra, which is good news for all those who are tired of paying for yet another streaming subscription.

The hiring of Mike Verdu as “vice president of game development”, could imply that Netflix may be looking to create its own games and Intellectual Properties rather than licence properties from other developers. Verdu has a long list of credits in the gaming industry, having worked on The Sims, Plants vs. Zombies, and as a developer for Oculus. So, it’s not completely crazy to believe that Netflix would pursue its own style of game development.  

Netflix has also produced games with third-party developers in the past, releasing a Stranger Things mobile game and Stranger Things 3: The Game. Alongside these Netflix has been experimenting with interactive experiences via its streaming platform, with films like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style movie being released in 2018. 

Overall, this is an interesting step from Netflix in an attempt to branch out into more interactive media and could signal the start of a radical new shift in what it means to be a content streaming service. Famously in 2019 Netflix said that it is games like Fortnite it competes and loses to. This means that companies could be attempting to build out their own version of what Epic Games calls its “Metaverse,” a virtual world that’s more than a video game and more of a social hub for people to interact and enjoy the media they are playing.

Well, what do you think of Netflix branching out into gaming? Is it another misstep from a company out of its depth? (I’m looking at you Google), or is it another masterstroke from the company that pioneered online streaming with Netflix Original Games?! Leave your comments below!  

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Massimo Castelli

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Football Fan, Comic book and movie Nerd and an Aspiring Journalist, feels like a winning combination, Right? Right!?

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