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Netflix Seeping into the World of Video Games

Netflix is preparing an impending expansion into the video game market, with a former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive leading the charge. According to Bloomberg News, Mike Verdu, most recently vice president of augmented reality and virtual reality content at Facebook, was named vice president of game development by Netflix on Wednesday. According to Bloomberg, Verdu will report to Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters once put on the platform.

The news is just the latest move by Netflix into a universe beyond streaming material like television episodes and movies, a realm that the platform has been hinting at for years to its 200 million customers. initially hinted at a possible market expansion in 2019 when it announced a planned mobile game based on the “Stranger Things” series at the E3 gaming convention.

Netflix has been less than forthcoming about its intended growth since then: The corporation cited — Fortnite — a popular video game with something to do with dance if I’m not mistaken — as its top competitor in a 2019 letter to shareholders. The Information initially revealed in May 2021 that Netflix was looking for an executive to bolster its gaming investments. It’s also not the first time Netflix has attempted to blur the boundaries between standard streaming programming and more avant-garde media, with recent interactive features like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Carmen Sandiego being examples.

Netflix is taking measures that appeal to stakeholders, with shares jumping 2% in extended trading on Wednesday on the announcement of Verdu’s appointment, if the stock market can be trusted — which, let’s face it, it can’t.

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