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Old 07-14-2021, 10:43 PM   #1
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Netflix Will Offer Video Games, Hires Former EA And Zynga Exec - Report

According to a report from Bloomberg, Netflix is looking to get into video games, though plenty of questions remain and nothing is locked down and certain at this stage. The company has hired former Electronic Arts and Zynga executive Mike Verdu to lead its efforts in this area as its vice president of game development, the report said.

"The idea is to offer video games on Netflix's streaming platform within the next year," Bloomberg reported, citing a source close to the situation.

"The company doesn't currently plan to charge extra for the content," the report said.

The report goes on to say that Netflix is looking to expand its gaming team in the coming months, and some game development positions are already listed on Netflix's careers page.

Netflix has been involved with games before, through licensing deals like the one for its Stranger Things game, but Bloomberg reported that this deal is "much larger in scope."

Also, it's still early days. The report said Netflix has "yet to settle on a game development strategy. In typical fashion, the company may start with just a few games and build from there."

The Bloomberg report had no information on how users will play these games or what might be available. Netflix previously said it had no plans for a game-streaming service.

"No," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in December 2019 when asked if Netflix might make a game-streaming service. "We're really focused on doing incredible series and films and unscripted."

In January 2019, Netflix said the company competes more with Fortnite than HBO when it comes to entertainment usage. There are a finite number of hours in the day, and even fewer that people can spend consuming entertainment, so Netflix sees Fortnite as a competitor in that regard.

"There are a lot of other things people do to entertain themselves, including Fortnite. And the original quote was that we compete with Fortnite more than we compete with HBO. Fortnite gets a lot more hours of viewing," Reed said in 2019. "Ultimately it's about competing for those hours of viewing. But we don't compete with Fortnite better by doing something like [a streaming service] because we're not very good at that. We compete by doing the most amazing TV shows you've ever seen so you put down Fortnite and you come to watch our shows."

Some may remember Netflix's ill-fated Qwikster service, which was a by-mail video game rental service that Netflix quickly abandoned. At the time, Netflix said it was still considering its options in the field of video games.

In the initial Qwikster announcement, Hastings himself spoke about how enthusiastic the Netflix audience was for games. "Members have been asking for video games for many years, and now that DVD-by-mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done," he said.

More recently, Netflix teamed up with The Witcher game developer CD Projekt Red for the first-ever WitcherCon event, which brought news about what's coming for the TV show and game series based off the fantasy franchise.

It's also been reported that Shonda Rhimes is working on a Bridgerton video game.

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Old 07-15-2021, 09:12 AM   #2
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As soon as casuals can game through their Roku and Chromecast or smart tvs it's game over for traditional consoles as we know it. It's not as matter of if but when.
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Old 07-15-2021, 09:14 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sdp View Post
As soon as casuals can game through their Roku and Chromecast or smart tvs it's game over for traditional consoles as we know it. It's not as matter of if but when.
Not necessarily. It has to be done right. Look what happened to Stadia. I mean, sure, as soon as they do it right, it's over for consoles, but who knows when/if that happens.

Then you have to look at Nintendo - defying all odds by selling gangbusters of a handheld that you can't call or text people from. There are ways to stay relevant.

So, yeah, it may happen someday, but I expect there to be a silly amount of "Soon, consoles will be gone..." before it actually happens anytime...soon. And that's been the pattern for about a decade, really.
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Old 07-15-2021, 09:54 AM   #4
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Of course as soon as it's done right, but that's why everyone keeps trying to get it right, it's happening sooner than you think. Gamers also said people would never choose digital over physical and now physical is the minority with a whole generation that are adults now but grew up with games being digital only through apps. Yes, nintendo will continue to exist, they're too unique, microsoft already has a clear path on being relevant in the streaming world. Sony not so much but consoles will always be a big enough niche for them to exist, they just won't be the majority. It's sooner than you think, I'm sure by 2025 streaming will be a big player even if still not big.
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Old 07-15-2021, 10:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by The Deadman View Post
"The company doesn't currently plan to charge extra for the content," the report said.
You better believe they will. No company does the "added value" thing without an immediate increase or eventual price partition if it finds success.

Personally, this feature would likely only appeal to me if I could turn on Netflix and play some simple retro game like Super Mario 3 or something like that for 10 minutes at a time before getting bored.

I've still got PS3 and PS4 games in the shrinkwrap that I haven't touched.
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