Netflix is expanding into the gaming world.
According to Bloomberg, the streaming giant has hired former Facebook and Electronic Arts executive Mike Verdu as its new vice president of game development. A source told the outlet Verdu, who oversaw the creation of mobile games like Plants vs. Zombies 2 and The Sims Freeplay, will report to Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters as the company looks to build its video game division in the upcoming months.
It’s reported that Netflix intends to offer video games on the platform sometime in 2022. And although the expansion could justify a price increase, an insider told Bloomberg that Netflix doesn’t plan to charge extra for the new content—a decision that would set it apart from other streamers that also offer video games.
Many of the largest tech companies do sell gaming options in addition to their video services. Apple Inc. has a platform called Arcade for games – as well as a TV+ service for original video projects. But it charges extra for the gaming.
Netflix has dabbled with interactive content over the last several years, most notably with its choose-your-own-adventure technology featured in Stranger Things and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. However, the company has been teasing a full-fledged gaming division in recent months as it looks to maintain its competitive edge.
“We’re in the business of creating these amazing, deep universes and compelling characters and people come to love those universes and want to immerse themselves more deeply and get to know the characters better,” Peters said during the Netflix’s quarterly earnings report in April. “We’re trying to figure out all of the different ways that we can increase those points of connection and deepen that fandom and certainly games is a really interesting component of that. There’s no doubt that games are going to be an important form of entertainment and important modality to deepen that fan experience so we’re going to keep going.”
Stay tuned as more information becomes available.