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Netflix reveals that it’s finally getting serious about games

Published Jul 20th, 2021 5:03PM EDT
Netflix Games
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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During an earnings call on Tuesday, Netflix announced massive plans for games on its service. Last week, Bloomberg reported that Netflix had hired former Oculus executive Mike Verdu to head up the company’s gaming effort. Netflix confirmed Verdu’s hiring, but would not offer any additional details. Now we know a bit more about how the company is going to handle Netflix games content.

There is still a great deal that we do not know. According to the lengthy quote below, the games will be part of the subscription. You won’t have to pay an additional fee to buy a Netflix game. That said, the company will “primarily focused on games for mobile devices” at first. We assume that these games will be accessible on the Netflix app, but even that isn’t clear.

Netflix games coming soon to a phone near you

“We’re also in the early stages of further expanding into games, building on our earlier efforts around interactivity (eg, Black Mirror Bandersnatch) and our Stranger Things games,” said Netflix’s shareholder letter for Q2 2021. “We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV.”

“Games will be included in members’ Netflix subscription at no additional cost similar to films and series,” the company continues. “Initially, we’ll be primarily focused on games for mobile devices. We’re excited as ever about our movies and TV series offering and we expect a long runway of increasing investment and growth across all of our existing content categories, but since we are nearly a decade into our push into original programming, we think the time is right to learn more about how our members value games.”

The Bloomberg report suggested that games will exist within the main Netflix app. They will sit on the homepage alongside your favorite TV shows, movies, and comedy specials. Netflix is currently hiring game developers, and development should begin in the coming months.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.