Netflix is expanding into video games, and Mike Verdu, a former Facebook and Electronic Arts employee, has been selected as the company’s fresh vice president of game development.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Verdu was formerly the VP of content for Facebook Reality Labs, where he supervised Oculus Studios and the teams responsible for bringing second-and third-party virtual reality games to Oculus VR headsets. Previously, he was the SVP of mobile at Electronic Arts, where he was in charge of mobile games such as ‘Plants vs. Zombies 2’, ‘The Sims Freeplay’, and ‘Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.’
Verdu will now report to Netflix’s chief operating officer and chief product officer, Greg Peters. During a discussion at the Tribeca X conference last month, Liontree CEO Aryeh Bourkoff, the banker behind several of 2021’s largest media transactions, including the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger and MGM’s sale Amazon, hinted that such a move by Netflix might be in the works. He stated at the time, “People would abandon Amazon if it only offered books today. Companies must change.
I believe that there will be a significant increase in the number of firms that provide direct-to-consumer products; even Spotify and Netflix will provide more and more services. Why does Spotify or Netflix contain video or audio? Why not play a game? Why not take a multi-product approach, as Amazon has done?”
Netflix also declared its intention to enter the podcast sector last week with the hiring of N’Jeri Eaton, a former Apple and NPR executive, as the company’s first head of podcasts. Netflix is a Los Gatos, California-based over-the-top entertainment platform and production business. Reed Hastings, including Marc Randolph, started Netflix in Scotts Valley, California.
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