Netflix has revealed that its initial gaming efforts will be focused on mobile games and that games will be included in users’ Netflix subscriptions, the company said on Tuesday as part of its second quarter earnings report. The news comes just days after the company announced it hired former EA and Oculus director Mike Verdu to lead its work on games.
Here’s exactly what Netflix said about games in its letter to investors:
We are also in the early stages of our expansion into games, building on our earlier efforts in interactivity (for example, Bandersnatch mirror black) and our Strange things Games. We see gaming as another new category of content for us, similar to our expansion into original movies, animation, and unscripted television. The games will be included in members’ Netflix subscription at no additional cost similar to movies and series. Initially, we will mainly focus on games for mobile devices. We are more excited than ever with our film and TV series offering and expect a long track of increasing investment and growth in all of our existing content categories, but since we are nearly a decade into our push in the original programming, we think it is right to learn more about the value our members place on games.
There are still no details on what types of games will actually be available, although Netflix recently extended its TV deal with Shonda Rhimes to include feature films and game content. There is also no word on how the games will be delivered to Netflix subscribers.
The company has acknowledged in the past that it competes with games for time and attention, with co-CEO Reed Hastings writing that “we compete with (and lose) Fortnite more than HBO ”in 2019. COO Greg Peters spoke about the company’s interest in games in April (PDF) as part of its first quarter results. And the company has already dipped its toes into the game with experiences like Black mirror: Bandersnatch and Carmen Sandiego.
But with the recent hiring of Verdu and the new information shared on Tuesday about his initial plans, it now looks like Netflix is focusing more on gaming than ever.