Netflix’s schedule is not actually about creating video video games
With over 200 million paying subscribers worldwide, Netflix is an absolute giant.
The streaming entertainment giant has successfully grown from a broken-down startup paying for licensed content to a major player in Hollywood, spending tens of millions of dollars on its own productions.
So what’s next
? The answer to that question seems to lie, at least in part, in video games.
The company has just hired former EA manager Mike Verdu to run its “Interactive” division, and a new Bloomberg report says the plan is to add games directly to the streaming service. Those games would appear in the same app you are currently using to watch the new season of “I Think You Should Go,” albeit as a genre of its own, the report said.
Don’t expect to see the latest Super Mario or Call of Duty games on Netflix anytime soon, however.
The goal of the games division at Netflix is ”to create new types of stories and new product experiences,” according to a Netflix job list. “These games will be managed by the new Netflix” Interactive “division.
The game library is apparently more of a marketing hook for the existing service than a reason to subscribe. The goal of the games created by Netflix Interactive is to “improve and deepen member engagement,” the listing says.
We already have a pretty good idea of what these games will look like, as the job ad explicitly mentions an earlier example of “games” that Netflix produced: “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”.
“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” offers viewers linear choices at predefined points in the story, much like an adventure book to choose from.
Viewers of the special “Black Mirror” episode can use their remote control to interact with plot elements, effectively changing the direction of the story and its characters.
Although it contains game-like elements such as slight interactivity and different storytelling, “Bandersnatch” differs from most video games in every other way.
That may not matter for upcoming interactive Netflix games, which are unlikely to compete directly with games on other platforms.
“Our opportunity is to expand our range of interactive innovations and skills, including, but not limited to, new types of features, game-like experiences, and different ways of interacting with stories,” the job posting states. “It’s time to rethink the future of entertainment.”
Instead of developing traditional video games, the list makes it sound like Netflix Interactive is doing something interactive that is more inspired by the movie world than the video game world.
What exactly that looks like remains to be seen, but it could arrive at Netflix as early as next year: According to the Bloomberg report, Netflix wants to have games on its platforms “within the next year”.
“I think they will try and I think they will fail,” Wedbush CEO Michael Pachter told Insider in May about Netflix’s gaming ambitions. “It’s hard to make games.”
Pachter criticizes the possibility that Netflix is developing games so quickly.
On a recent episode of Bloomberg Quick Take, he said there was “no chance”: “They don’t have a team, they are incapable of making games, and the idea that they think they’ll be playing games next year Market “is insane. There’s no chance something will be made in the next year. “
Do you have a tip? Contact Insider Senior Correspondent Ben Gilbert via email ([email protected]) or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use an inoperative device to reach PR pitches only via email, please.