Netflix revealed that its first efforts will focus on mobile games and that the games will be included in users ’Netflix subscriptions, the company announced on Tuesday as part of its second-quarter earnings report. The news will come a few days after that the company said it hired former EA and Oculus lead Mike Verdu to lead the game work.
Here is exactly what Netflix said about gaming, letter to investors:
We are also at an early stage expanding into games by building our previous efforts on interactivity (e.g. Black mirror bracelet) and our Stranger Things games. We think gaming is a new new content category for us, similar to the expansion to original movies, animations, and unwritten TVs. The games will be included in the members ’Netflix subscription at no additional cost, reminiscent of movies and series. Initially, we will focus primarily on games for mobile devices. We are excited to offer movies and TV series and look forward to a long runway of growing investment and growth in all of our existing content categories, but as we have been transitioning to original programming for almost a decade, we think it’s time to learn more about how our members value games.
There are no details yet on what types of games are actually available, although Netflix recently expanded its TV contract with Shonda Rhimes contains movies and game content. There is also no word on how the games will be delivered to Netflix subscribers.
The company has previously admitted to competing with games for time and attention, and CEO Reed Hastings wrote that “we compete (and lose) with Fortnite more than HBO ” in 2019. Greg Peters, vice president, discussed the company’s interest in games in April (PDF) as part of its first quarter revenue. And the company has already dipped its toes into gaming for example Black mirror: Bandersnatch and Carmen Sandiego.
But the recently hired Verdu and new information released on Tuesday about their original plans looks like Netflix is more focused on games than ever before.