Netflix confirms gaming venture with focus on mobile experiences

We reported a few days ago that Netflix may be entering the video game space after signing on ex-EA and Facebook executive Mike Verdu as the VP of game development. Today, the company has confirmed those rumors and revealed some more details.

A Netflix logo with We Do Games Now written beneath it

In a letter to its shareholders, Netflix revealed the nitty gritty details of its financial margins, quarterly revenues, and viewing figures for its popular TV shows and movies. If you are interested in those details, feel free to peruse the 12-page document here.

The particularly interesting bit tucked away in the letter is confirmation of Netflix' venture into the domain of game development. As excerpt from the document reads:

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. 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. 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.

For those unaware, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is a choose-your-own-adventure-style TV episode where your choices affect the outcome. Meanwhile, Stranger Things: The Game is a top-down RPG adventure available on mobile devices and stylized in a retro format reminiscent of handheld console games of yesteryear.

While that may clue us in to some of the formats that Netflix might be exploring, it is important to note that the company says that it will focus on "games for mobile devices" initially. Although some might find this bit of news disappointing, it's likely that these plans may evolve and expand depending upon the success of the initial venture.

It may also be heartening to see that the games will be tied to your Netflix subscription so you don't have to may extra for them. However, it remains to be seen how this content will be distributed since its previous Android game was a free offering that did not require a Netflix subscription.

The company hasn't stated when it will start releasing more mobile games, but the previous rumor had hinted at 2022. We'll likely find out more in the coming weeks.

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