Netflix, the American movie streaming giant, is now looking to formally break into the video games market.
According to Bloomberg, the US firm has hired Mike Verdu, a former Facebook and Electronic Arts executive, for the project.
Verdu will assume the role of a VP, game development — reporting to Greg Peters, Netflix’s chief operating officer.
The executive has, in the past, worked on popular mobile games at Electronic Arts, a US video game firm, including titles in the Sims, Plants vs. Zombies, and Star Wars franchises. He served as a chief creative officer for Zynga Inc.
Netflix’s latest move comes as the top streamer seeks to further extend its influence beyond television and film.
It is understood that the idea is to offer video games on Netflix’s streaming platform within the next year.
A source familiar with the matter was quoted as having revealed that Netflix will be building out its gaming team in the coming months, having already started advertising for game development-related positions on its website.
The source said the games will appear alongside current fare as a new programming genre, similar to what Netflix did with documentaries or stand-up specials, but the firm doesn’t currently plan to charge extra for the content.
Netflix had tried out games through its choose-your-own-adventure-style programming like Bandersnatch, a 2018 interactive film in the sci-fi series ‘Black Mirror’, and through some licensing and merchandising partnerships.
In April, Netflix’s chief operating and product officer had signalled that its interest in gaming may be advancing.
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