Earlier this year, reports surfaced claiming Netflix wanted to expand into games, creating their own Apple Arcade-like service. Now it seems the company are getting properly into it, hiring a couple of industry veterans and listing game development-related jobs on their website. Supposedly, the streaming platform plans on offering games alongside its films and TV series "within the next year."
According to Bloomberg (watch out for the paywall), within the year Netflix plans on putting games under their own category on the streaming platform, like how documentaries or stand-up specials have their little sections. Surprisingly, one of Bloomberg's sources says Netflix don't have plans to charge extra for the games - they'll just exist alongside everything else, all included in your usual subscription fee. Though, this does feel like a way to simply increase the regular subscription price.
Helping lead the gaming operation will be Mike Verdu, former executive for the likes of EA and Oculus. He's taken on the role of vice president of game development at Netflix. Bloomberg adds that the company will be hiring more for their gaming division in the coming months, and if you fancy yourself a good "director of product innovation" you can already apply.
When earlier reports came out about Netflix getting into games, the company just said they were "excited to do more with interactive entertainment", which was rather vague. It's still unclear if they'll just put their own games up, or if they'll host stuff from other developers (though the latter would make more sense if they're trying to compete with services like Game Pass).
I have to say, I quite like the idea of a streaming service where games sit next to their TV show or film counterparts. My family loves Netflix's The Witcher and having the games readily available next to the show could tempt them to give it a try.
Netflix aren't complete strangers to the gaming scene. They've previously commissioned a Stranger Things game from devs BonusXP, and have game-y interactive shows like Bandersnatch. But this will be their first foray into actually making their own games - here's hoping they manage it a little better than rival company Amazon.
The big question for me is: how will we actually play these games on Netflix? With your TV remote? Or will they make folks buy a special controller like Google did with Stadia?