Netflix will begin offering video games within its platform in 2022, as published by Bloomberg. As reported by the American media, this is the first great movement beyond television shows and movies, it is planning an expansion in video games and has hired a former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive to lead the new project.
Mike Verdu will join Netflix as VP of Game Development, reporting to COO Greg Petersthe company said Wednesday. Verdu was previously vice president of Facebook in charge of working with developers to bring games and other content to the Oculus virtual reality headsets.
SPAIN – 2021/07/13: In this photo illustration a close-up of a hand holding a TV remote control seen displayed in front of the Netflix logo. (Photo Illustration by Thiago Prudencio / SOPA Images / LightRocket via .)
The company’s idea is to offer video games on the streaming platform next year, a source has revealed to Bloomberg. The games will appear alongside the current offering as a new genre of programming – similar to what Netflix did with documentaries or stand-up specials. The company does not plan to charge a supplement for the content, says the same source.
Why Netflix is interested in video games
This decision has nothing to do with attracting youth. Netflix is studying the launch of a video game service to expand its number of subscribers and provide a new source of income. After the boom sponsored by the pandemic and lockdown of 2020, growth in the number of new subscribers has stagnated. The fact of trying a different field within the world of entertainment can open a very interesting vein of new customers and also retain existing ones.
In its first quarter 2021 earnings report, Netflix reported a slowdown in subscriber growth, with a total of 3.98 million new net subscribers worldwide. The streaming provider was estimated to add six million new subscribers (although revenues exceeded Wall Street forecasts). Netflix cited the drop in original content caused by the pandemic as the reason for the poor growth. In contrast, during the first quarter of 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, Netflix added 15.8 million new net subscribers worldwide.
Although video games have been around for decades, During the pandemic, the sector recorded strong revenue growth that is expected to continue in the coming years. Simply put, video games have emerged as the fastest growing entertainment category, with higher revenues than the film and music industries combined.
Video game content is expected to come from both the intellectual property of Netflix and other independent studios. In the past, Netflix has produced several video game-based shows, including Castlevania, Dragon’s Dogma, Minecraft: Story Mode, and The Witcher.With more expected in 2021 and 2022. In addition, Netflix has in the past licensed a number of games based on its popular show Stranger Things to third-party developers. Netflix has also produced an interactive version for the series finale of the comedy The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and a “choose your own adventure” with the interactive movie Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. Without a doubt, Netflix has shown a great interest in interactive entertainment.
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