“We view gaming as another new content category for us, similar to our expansion into original films, animation and unscripted TV,” the shareholder letter said. “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.”
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While the company is presently in the “early stages of further expanding into games,” the offer will be “primarily focused on games for mobile devices.”
Netflix COO and chief product officer Greg Peters talked about extending Netflix’s IP through its games in Tuesday's Earnings interview. The aim would be to further create standalone games that could be spawned into a series or film, which would increase Netflix’s library’s volume. “It’s a multiyear effort. We’re going to start relatively small. We’ll learn, we’ll grow,” he said. “Our subscription model yields some opportunities to focus on a set of game experiences that are currently underserved by the sort of dominant monetization models in games. We don’t have to think about ads, we don’t have to think about in-game purchases or other monetization, we don’t have to think about per-title purchases. Really, we can do what we’ve been doing on the movie and series side, which is just hyper, laser focused on delivering the most entertaining game experiences that we can.”
Although the launch date of the gaming services is still under wraps, with the hiring of Mike Verdu, a former Facebook and Electronic Arts executive, as its new vp game development, it’s safe to say that Netflix has set the pace for the project nice and fast. The streaming service recently also hired N’Jeri Eaton, former head of content for Apple Podcasts, as Netflix’s first head of podcasts. If one goes by the recent developments, Netflix has a podcast service for its subscribers in the pipeline too.