Despite being the dominant streaming service globally, Netflix isn’t satisfied…or so it seems based on some major new hires by the company.
Announced by the streaming giant on Wednesday, Mike Verdu has been appointed as the vice president of game development, cementing Netflix’s plans to expand beyond television and film. Formerly of Facebook Reality Labs and Electronic Arts, the executive’s resume includes games like Plants vs. Zombies 2, The Sims Freeplay and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.
While it would be Netflix’s first foray into the creation of games, it has licensed original content to developers in the past, such as Stranger Things. The platform has also dabbled in interactive content with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs the Reverend, which as The Guardian reports, “employ simple video game mechanic and mild interactivity to create an accessible experience.”
It has not been disclosed whether the Netflix approach to gaming will offer additional subscription fees for access to a library of gaming content or will focus on individual in-app charges for specific games, however it has been speculated the platform will offer downloadable games, as opposed to game-streaming.
And it seems Netflix is not stopping at gaming, with the company also looking to expand into podcasts. Previously Head of Content at Apple Podcasts, N’Jeri Eaton has announced via Twitter that she will be joining Netflix as the Head of Podcasts, explaining “my obsession for storytelling has taken me all kinds of places but this is truly a dream!”
Eaton will be managing Netflix’s yet to be announced roster of podcasts, most of which are expected to be related to the service’s original TV series and movies.
“Netflix Podcasts explore the world of Netflix through audio. We go behind the scenes of series and films, dig deeper with your [favourite] stars and explore the most exciting projects on the platform,” explains the company in an official statement. As Bloomberg reports, the creation of a podcast division will contribute to Netflix’s overarching marketing strategies.
This comes following the launch of an editorial and publishing division, led by ex-Allure editor-in-chief, Michelle Lee, that will also include social media channels and a print publication, Queue.