As we enter a new age of technology where everything is becoming more digital, we’re starting to see video games go through their own evolution. Gone are the days of cartridges and discs as the go-to way to acquire games, and instead, they’re being placed into consoles and PCs directly via download. However, with services like Xbox Game Pass becoming more popular, there’s a push to move video games more into the cloud. This would allow players to skip (or at least shorten) the download process entirely and just play games immediately without a physical copy, similar to how many people watch their favorite movies and TV shows.
It’s the similarity to TV and movies that should make it no surprise that media giant Netflix is reportedly planning on offering video games as well. According to a report from Bloomberg, Netflix wants to start offering video games within the next year and they’ve hired former members of EA and Facebook to turn that dream into a reality.
Mike Verdu will join Netflix as vice president of game development, reporting to Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters, the company said on Wednesday. Verdu was previously Facebook’s vice president in charge of working with developers to bring games and other content to Oculus virtual-reality headsets.
The idea is to offer video games on Netflix’s streaming platform within the next year, according to a person familiar with the situation. The games will appear alongside current fare as a new programming genre — similar to what Netflix did with documentaries or stand-up specials. The company doesn’t currently plan to charge extra for the content, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.
With video games being such a lucrative industry, it makes sense that Netflix would be trying to get in on the fun, especially with so many companies attempting to try and emulate the Netflix model in their own game offerings. It’s not uncommon to compare Game Pass or Google Stadia to the Netflix model because of the ease of access. Players pay a one-time fee, have an endless library of games, and then they pick and choose from that library.
While Netflix has already been involving itself more in games on the TV side and even had a segment in Summer Game Fest back in June, it’s eyebrow-raising to see they want to be into games before the end of the year. So far, cloud gaming has struggled to gain a footing because the majority of cloud offerings currently aren’t as quick or smooth as simply downloading and owning the game. But of course, with technology evolving, that could be a moot point in the very near future.