When you get tired of streaming your favorite shows, movies, and documentaries, you’ll soon be able to switch it up with something a little more interactive. Bloomberg recently detailed how the video game will appear on Netflix next year.
Mike Verdu leads the project and there are rumors that the team is in development. Verdu has leadership experience with big names like Electronic Arts and Facebook. Previous projects include Sim And Star Wars. He will now be in charge of the project as vice president of game development under the close supervision of Greg Peters, Netflix’s current COO.
For months, it’s been said that Netflix is keen on breaking into the video game industry. At the time of introduction, the game is included in regular subscriptions at no additional cost. Whether that will stay the same in the future remains to be seen.
Netflix’s latest announcement that video games will soon be part of their service has angered the public. While some are optimistic about the direction, others debate the intentions behind the strategy.
initial Bloomberg quotes Jason Bazinet, a Citi analyst: “It looks like a significant event with broad ramifications in the video game landscape.” Bazinet outlines how if Netflix is successful, they could eliminate competitors.
Responses to direction were mixed. On the other end of the spectrum, there is consensus that Netflix doesn’t want to corner the streaming video game market but wants to find a higher level of engagement with consumers.
Geetha Ranganathan, BI media analyst, falls into the latter camp: “Don’t expect this to be a turning point.” If people log into Netflix to play, they’ll spend more time on the app. That could be the goal.
Previously, the company forayed into this space with games themed on Netflix content. Several interactive shows have seen Netflix demonstrate its power in the past. On the other hand, Netflix has not shied away from producing content based on video games in the past.
Again, the current goal is probably user engagement. Netflix experts can ask questions like “How can people have a rich viewing experience?” Apparently getting into video games was the answer they decided on.
The company recognizes that in general conversation, there are other topics that cause Netflix to take a back seat for some fans. For example, younger viewers can choose to log out and play Fortress. An old adage comes to mind: if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
This new direction seems natural, but the market has seen similar Disney+ efforts fail before. If Netflix can do things differently, in a way that attracts new subscribers and keeps current subscribers coming back for more, they could win themselves a bigger slice of the pie.
Just one sneaky question remains: How will this affect Netflix & Chill?