- Netflix has hired Facebook Oculus exec Mike Verdu to lead its new gaming division, Bloomberg said.
- Verdu was previously a senior vice president at Electronic Arts.
- A source told Bloomberg that Netflix wants to put games on its service in the next year.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Netflix has hired a top executive from Facebook’s virtual reality division as it prepares to expand into streaming video games, Bloomberg reports.
Mike Verdu is a vice president at Facebook’s Oculus augmented and virtual reality division, and was previously a senior vice president at Electronic Arts (EA), where he focused primarily on mobile games, according to Bloomberg. He will join Netflix as vice president of game development.
A source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Netflix was looking to bulk out its video game division, and that the company aimed to offer video games on its streaming service within the next year. The source said Netflix won’t charge extra for streaming games on its platform.
It’s not entirely clear whether Netflix will initially bring existing games onto its platform or try to develop its own – or a combination of the two. Bloomberg’s source said the company has not yet settled on a development strategy.
Netflix did not immediately respond when asked for comment on Bloomberg’s report.
The Information first reported in May that Netflix was thinking of breaking into the gaming industry. Although Netflix has already toyed with interactive stories such as “Bandersnatch,” experts told Insider they were skeptical it could successfully move into the gaming space.
“Big tech sucks at games,” Joost van Dreunen, author of “One Up: Creativity, Competition, and the Global Business of Video Games,” said.