Netflix now thinking about video games: what it will do

Netflix hires an executive with video games in his background, stock flies and details emerge: here's how it would be planning to move

Netflix is targeting the video game market, and it's doing so by putting a former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive, Mike Verdu, on the payroll to sound out the opportunities for growth and financial returns from an entry into the thriving video game market and possibly launching into what would be a brand new venture for Netflix.

According to Bloomberg, Netflix is evaluating the possibility of including video games within its platform, thus making the current offer composed of TV series, documentaries and movies more varied and capturing the interest of a new audience, that of gamers. And there would also be a time horizon within which, possibly, to launch the new adventure: 2022. Netflix, as it is imaginable, has not yet commented on the affair nor made us guess in which direction it would like to move, but judging from Verdu's past we can speculate that the direction could be that of entering the market of games for mobile devices and, perhaps, also in the field of virtual and augmented reality.

Videogames on Netflix at no extra charge

Bloomberg's source, who asked to remain anonymous, confided that it's not part of Netflix's intentions to ask subscribers for extra money for games, which would become part of the platform's programming in a similar way as documentaries do.

The hiring of Verdu, and the start, moreover, of searches within its portal for professionals capable of developing games, are clear indications that something is moving in the direction of a debut of Netflix in the video game market.

The neo-president of Netflix's game development department, in addition to his involvement with Electronic Arts, was previously on Facebook's executive plans with the charge of working alongside developers to bring more games and other content to Oculus virtual reality viewers.

The benefits to Netflix of video games

The new business could benefit Netflix on at least two fronts: pitching itself to a pool of customers uninterested or not interested in "passively" watching movies and TV series but enticed by the idea of "actively" entertaining themselves with a video game, and targeting a market that competitors so far seem to have missed.

Amazon Prime Video, for example, has preferred to focus on acquiring the rights to broadcast live sporting events, effectively ignoring the video game market that could now lead Netflix to take an advantage over the competition.

Not to mention the fact that if indeed, as the informant told Bloomberg, Netflix wouldn't have the intention of unbundling games from the current package or in any case of increasing subscription prices immediately, it's not certain that it couldn't do so two or three years after the debut of the novelty.

And so, with an already ample offer before the eventual debut in the new market, it would be easier to justify the levy in the eyes of subscribers.