Netflix has come a long way from the early days of mailing you a DVD, back when the biggest innovation in watching home media was not having to walk to the nearest Blockbuster (RIP). The streaming and content production giant arguably kicked off a media revolution in TV and film, and now they've set their sights on games.
Distributing video games in a similar streamable fashion tied to a subscription service is hardly a new concept - several such services exist already and have achieved varying degrees of success, all with caveats. So far, no single company trying to become the "Netflix of games" has reached that level - and it seems Netflix is here to fill the role, ironically.
Netflix has been courting the games industry for a while now, and after a few dates consisting of interactive Black Mirror episodes and some licensing deals, it's time to take it to the next level. Netflix has appointed ex-EA and Facebook exec Mike Verdu as its VP of game development, as reported by Bloomberg, which is a heck of a heavy start.
Verdu isn't exactly a small fish (even if the companies he worked for aren't the most loved) and the term "game development" seems to imply that Netflix has designs on the medium beyond just offering existing games as a streaming service - which makes sense, given how they have become a major TV and film production company too.
Whatever plans Netflix has with games specifically, they must be extremely confident. While still arguably the most ubiquitous name in streaming, Netflix has some stiff competition with rivals like Disney+, Amazon, Hulu and others. Jumping into game streaming would further increase the number of rivals - doubling down on Amazon - and getting into game dev kicks that up exponentially.
We're eager to see how this develops, and what shape "game development" will actually take with the company.