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Netflix Will Offer Video Games, Hires Former EA And Zynga Exec – Report

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Netflix looks to be expanding into a new market with a foray into games.

Netflix will start publishing video games, has hired former EA exec | Ars  Technica
Netflix is Planning to Enter the Gaming Industry with a Subscription

According to a report from Bloomberg, Netflix is looking to get into video games, though plenty of questions remain and nothing is locked down and certain at this stage. The company has hired former Electronic Arts and Zynga executive Mike Verdu to lead its efforts in this area as its vice president of game development, the report said.

“The idea is to offer video games on Netflix’s streaming platform within the next year,” Bloomberg reported, citing a source close to the situation.

“The company doesn’t currently plan to charge extra for the content,” the report said.

The report goes on to say that Netflix is looking to expand its gaming team in the coming months, and some game development positions are already listed on Netflix’s careers page.

Netflix has been involved with games before, through licensing deals like the one for its Stranger Things game, but Bloomberg reported that this deal is “much larger in scope.”

Also, it’s still early days. The report said Netflix has “yet to settle on a game development strategy. In typical fashion, the company may start with just a few games and build from there.”

The Bloomberg report had no information on how users will play these games or what might be available. Netflix previously said it had no plans for a game-streaming service.

“No,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in December 2019 when asked if Netflix might make a game-streaming service. “We’re really focused on doing incredible series and films and unscripted.”

In January 2019, Netflix said the company competes more with Fortnite than HBO when it comes to entertainment usage. There are a finite number of hours in the day, and even fewer that people can spend consuming entertainment, so Netflix sees Fortnite as a competitor in that regard.

“There are a lot of other things people do to entertain themselves, including Fortnite. And the original quote was that we compete with Fortnite more than we compete with HBO. Fortnite gets a lot more hours of viewing,” Reed said in 2019. “Ultimately it’s about competing for those hours of viewing. But we don’t compete with Fortnite better by doing something like [a streaming service] because we’re not very good at that. We compete by doing the most amazing TV shows you’ve ever seen so you put down Fortnite and you come to watch our shows.”

Some may remember Netflix’s ill-fated Qwikster service, which was a by-mail video game rental service that Netflix quickly abandoned. At the time, Netflix said it was still considering its options in the field of video games.

In the initial Qwikster announcement, Hastings himself spoke about how enthusiastic the Netflix audience was for games. “Members have been asking for video games for many years, and now that DVD-by-mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done,” he said.

More recently, Netflix teamed up with The Witcher game developer CD Projekt Red for the first-ever WitcherCon event, which brought news about what’s coming for the TV show and game series based off the fantasy franchise.

It’s also been reported that Shonda Rhimes is working on a Bridgerton video game.

Even after a decade in the role, actor Tom Hiddleston never seems to get tired of talking about Loki. Hiddleston spoke about the TV show in a recent pre-finale interview with Deadline, and though the actor was careful to dodge spoilers, he had some musing to do on the future of Loki and the MCU.

The series’ final episode has aired since the interview was conducted, revealing more about the direction the MCU is heading, as well as the mid-credits announcement that Loki would be returning for another season. Before the announcement was made, Hiddleston was coy when asked about returning to the role, though he did talk about his journey as Loki.

“I have learned, at this point, having said goodbye to the character more than twice, two and a half times maybe, to make no assumptions,” the actor said. “So, it’s not up to me. But I do love playing him, and every time, I seem to find new, interesting things about him. So, yeah, I’m a temporary passenger on Loki’s journey, but we’ll see. We’ll see where the ride goes now.”

Hiddleston also talked about Loki’s journey as a character, and how it’s changed over the course of the TV show. “Loki’s someone who’s probably been deluded by the idea that he’s burdened with glorious purpose, and that perhaps that purpose has been revealed to be fraudulent or meaningless, and maybe his self-image or the role that he has condemned himself to play is redundant,” Hiddleston explained. “His experiences through this story have shown him that there are actually more opportunities available to him, and you know, it speaks to this idea, like, can we change? Can we evolve, and in that evolution, is there room to grow?”

The actor also appears to be just as excited as most fans about what the TV show means for the larger MCU storyline that’s developing. “I feel that the MCU is even more expansive, is even braver, more inclusive than it’s ever been,” Hiddleston explained.

“I think the stories are getting really exciting,” he added when pushed for more detail. “Not that they weren’t before, but I think they understand that the investment of the audience is very deep, and they don’t take it for granted for a second. So, yeah, I suppose the perspective I have on how Loki might affect the ongoing course of the MCU is this idea of the multiverse.”

While the actor clearly can’t give away anything too detailed about the future of the franchise, he was more than happy to speculate. “I know that there are lots of, you know, interesting titles of movies that’ve been announced, which kind of hint at where it might be going,” he said.

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