• Streaming giant Netflix is venturing into game development
  • The company recently hired former EA exec Mike Verdu
  • Verdu will serve as the vp of Netflix’s game development unit

Streaming giant Netflix is venturing into the world of gaming based on its recent move of hiring a former Electronic Arts executive.

Bloomberg exclusively revealed Wednesday that Netflix has tapped Mike Verdu to join its new division. Aside from being a former EA exec, Verdu previously served as the vp of content for Facebook Reality Labs.

At Facebook, Verdu oversaw Oculus Studios and the teams responsible for the company’s virtual reality games. On the other had, he was involved in the development of “Plants vs. Zombies 2,” “Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes” and “The Sims FreePlay” when he was still at EA, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Netflix hired Verdu to be the vice president of its game development unit. As such, he will be reporting to Greg Peters, the streaming giant’s chief operating officer and chief product officer.

A source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Netflix is planning to introduce video games on its streaming platform next year. Interestingly, the company is not planning to charge extra for the new type of content, as per the source.

If true, this means the video games will simply appear alongside the current offerings of Netflix just like what the company did with its documentaries and stand-up specials.

Netflix has been quietly preparing for the launch of its games, starting with a game inspired by “Stranger Things” and another title that could involve the work of esteemed TV producer Shonda Rhimes, Deadline has learned.

New job listings on Netflix’s website also suggest that the streaming giant is expanding its gaming development team in the coming months.

Netflix’s venture into game development could help the company attract new customers since its direct competitors do not offer this type of content at present. The move could help the company secure its growth amid the more saturated market for streaming services.

Apart from video games, the company is also looking into the podcast space. Just last week, Netflix hired former Apple and NPR exec N’Jeri Eaton to head its new podcasts department.

Netflix has already held talks with several industry veterans in its push to find a video game executive
Netflix has already held talks with several industry veterans in its push to find a video game executive AFP / Olivier DOULIERY