Netflix Confirms Plans to Expand into Cloud Gaming, Launches New Gaming Studio Led by Former Overwatch Producer

Image: Netflix

Netflix is not only expanding into cloud gaming, but it’s also stepping up its gaming efforts by opening a new, fifth gaming studio in Southern California. Mike Verdu, Netflix VP of Gaming, shared the news during TechCrunch’s Disrupt event today, confirming that the streamer is “seriously exploring a cloud gaming offering” despite the failure of Stadia, which he blamed on the business model and not the technology. The new California studio, which follows closely on the heels of the Finland-based studio that Netflix announced in late September, will be led by Chacko Sonny, Overwatch’s former executive producer.

“It’s a value add. We’re not asking you to subscribe as a console replacement,” Verdu said on stage regarding Netflix’s cloud gaming ambitions. “It’s a completely different business model. The hope is over time that it just becomes this very natural way to play games wherever you are.”

“He could have done anything, but he chose to come here,” Verdu said about Sonny’s decision to join Netflix. “You don’t get people like that coming to your organization to build the next big thing in gaming unless there’s a sense that we’re really in it for the long haul and in it for the right reasons.”

From a TechCrunch report:

The company still considers itself in the very early stages of its gaming initiative but hasn’t ruled out expansions beyond mobile — though we understand it won’t be heading to the console or VR at this point.

The news of the gaming studio launch and cloud gaming plans arrives as Netflix is announcing its Q3 earnings, which sees the streamer beating expectations with the addition of 2.41 million subscribers, bringing the total to 223.09 million. Netflix had forecast a net gain of only 1 million subs in the third quarter. The company also reported earning $7.93 in revenue in Q3 2022, whereas analysts predicted $7.85 billion.

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