Netflix Inc. NFLX has hired Mike Verdu, a former Electronic Arts Inc. EA and Facebook Inc. FB gaming executive, to lead the streaming giant’s expansion into video games, the company confirmed to Bloomberg on Wednesday.
What Happened: Mike Verdu will join Netflix as vice president of game development, reporting to Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters.
Verdu was previously Facebook’s vice president in charge of augmented reality and virtual reality content, working with developers to bring games to Oculus virtual-reality headsets. Prior to that, he had served as vice president of EA mobile.
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Netflix has previously partnered with an outside developer to launch a game themed on its “Stranger Things” franchise. With its own gaming platform, the company could create games around its owned properties and original series.
Competition in the gaming industry is intensifying as tech giants such as Apple Inc. AAPL, Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG GOOGL Google and Amazon.com Inc. AMZN invest in the category. The online gaming industry has grown significantly amid the pandemic.
It was reported in April that Apple has expanded its gaming subscription service “Apple Arcade” by introducing two new game categories and adding more than 30 new games.
Price Action: Netflix shares closed 1.3% higher in Wednesday’s regular trading session at $547.95 and further rose almost 2.7% in the after-hours session to $562.48.
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