Netflix is currently developing ways to add video games to its platform as soon as next year, according to a Bloomberg report. To expand its content offerings beyond TV and film, the streaming giant has hired former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive Mike Verdu as Vice President of Game Development.

As of now, Netflix doesn’t plan on charging extra for the new video game content. However, this new move might justify raised subscription prices in the future. Netflix’s foray into video games is the company’s latest strategy to not only lure in new customers, but to deepen current users’ engagement with the website. This model was tested with Netflix’s addition of interactive content, including the Black Mirror offshoot Bandersnatch and a special episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

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No other streaming platform currently offers video games. However, Netflix’s major competitors, including Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video, all offer ways to watch live sports. Rather than try to compete in that arena, Netflix is diversifying by adding something different. Their goal is not to generate a ton of additional revenue (besides the money coming from new subscribers) but to encourage users to stay on the platform for longer amounts of time. It could also potentially help market new shows.

Obviously, this is all in early stages. It’s unclear whether the games will all tie into popular Netflix shows such as Stranger Things or The Witcher, or if they’ll feature original concepts. The actual gaming mechanism itself is also foggy. Will customers be able to play the games using their TV remote or laptop keyboard? Or will they need to purchase additional equipment? Will there be multiplayer options? We'll have to wait and see.

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