Netflix is looking to hire an executive to oversee its expansion into video games, a person familiar with the matter said, a sign that it is ramping up efforts to grow beyond its traditional business as streaming competition intensifies.
The move comes at a time when the video gaming industry has benefited from a surge in demand from gamers staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Netflix has reportedly approached veteran gaming industry executives for the job.
Netflix has experimented with interactive programming in the past with movies such as Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and You vs. Wild that enabled viewers to decide the characters' moves. It has also created games based on shows Stranger Things and La casa de Papel (Money Heist).
The Information reported earlier on Friday Netflix had discussed offering a bundle of games similar to Apple's online subscription offering, Apple Arcade, as an option.
While the details of the company's games strategy are still very much in flux, it has decided that the games will not feature advertising, the report said.
Netflix is also reportedly planning to expand its video-streaming subscription with a higher tier ‘N-Plus' subscription that will give users access to podcasts, custom TV show playlists, and behind-the-scenes content, among other things. The company is said to have sent out a survey to a few of its users, telling them about why the company was exploring this idea and gauging their interest.
N-Plus subscribers will also likely help in influencing the production of a pre-planned show, offer feedback, and help Netflix decide the course of action before they commit to production costs.
It's Google I/O time this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, as we discuss Android 12, Wear OS, and more. Later (starting at 27:29), we jump over to Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder's Netflix zombie heist movie. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.