Netflix will start publishing video games, having hired a former EA executive

Close -up photo of a hand operating a video game controller.
Enlarge it / Netflix as a game publisher: We know it happens. But we have many, many questions about how the service takes shape.

Netflix’s growing interest in video games will soon explode in the form of a complete branch of game publishing.

While Netflix has yet to post its own announcement on the initiative, the streaming-video provider has confirmed to Ars Technica that it has hired a former EA and Oculus exec to lead Netflix’s game publishing team.

The newly appointed executive is Mike Verdu, who recently worked in a developer relationship with Facebook’s Oculus VR team (his public profile still says that’s his job now). He has worked in game development and publishing since the early 90s, and his first studio, Legend Entertainment, was eventually taken over by GT Interactive.

While Netflix hasn’t confirmed the form of what its video game publisher might do, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman has suggested that the effort could result in “video games [as part of] his service the following year. The “use of“ video games ”as a description is important, as this distinguishes the effort from the“ choose your own adventure ”TV show that has become more common on this service since Black mirrorThe “Bandersnatch” special makes its debut in 2018.

Does this mean more Belmont action?

In addition, Netflix has spent the past half decade building a collection of exclusive TV series based on video game licenses, including animated series based on Castlevania, Dota 2 and critically acclaimed live-action versions Witch (whose second season will launch later this year). Probably a long time since Konami stopped Castlevania the game could change with Netflix as a publishing partner in the mix. (Again, maybe we should cool our bodies and see if Netflix’s first game revolved around a non -game nature like a weird dating show Sexy Beast, an absurd cast The Tiger King, or, fingers crossed, ridiculous sketch comedy from I think you should go.)

However, we’ve seen aggressive new game delivery efforts as a new move in game publishing as recently as this year, with Google strongly shutting down game development studio Stadia after two years of development and zero launch. If Netflix sticks to a short timeline like “next year,” the streaming giant may have to focus on a back-scaling release, if not a game that was already years before today’s announcement.

While Netflix is ​​now enjoying huge exposure through its popular app, we don’t know if the same app will support games broadcast on all available devices and operating systems, each equipped with their own hiccups. Also, if it requires a constant online connection, is Netflix willing to offer competitive cloud -based button tap latency? And does a service like this require installation intrigue to circumvent the storefront’s aggressive rules on individually evaluated and evaluated games?

Until Netflix explains its exact launch strategy and final solution, we wonder how it will compete with more and more cloud-based game subscription services and downloads.



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