Netflix’s new children-friendly features include Kids Recap Email and Kids Top 10 row.
Netflix intends to enter the video gaming industry. Mike Verdu, a former Electronic Arts and Facebook executive, has been hired as the streaming platform’s Vice President of Game Development.
Netflix now only sells movies and television episodes on its website, but it has hinted about moving into the video game business for some time. Separately, Netflix announced the debut of two new services geared towards making the platform more kid-friendly: Kids Recap Email and Kids Top 10 Row.
Netflix is seeking to broaden its horizons by entering the video gaming sector by next year, according to a Bloomberg report quoting a source familiar with the situation. The games might debut as a new programming category, akin to its documentary and stand-up specials, and could be distributed for free at first.
Netflix’s Chief Operating Officer, Greg Peters, is claimed to report directly to Verdu. The move is considered to be a means for Netflix to expand in crowded regions like the United States.
Netflix is hinting at a move into the video game sector for some time. The free-to-play Stranger Things mobile game, which was launched at E3 2019, was the company’s first step in this manner. Netflix stated in May that it was looking for an executive to assist raise its video gaming commitment. Interactive movies and TV shows like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Carmen Sandiego have been tried before on the streaming platform.
Netflix has been teasing a move into the video gaming industry for a while now.
The company’s first attempt in this direction was the free-to-play Stranger Things mobile game, which debuted at E3 2019. In May, Netflix said that it was looking for a senior executive to help it expand its video gaming commitment. On the streaming platform, interactive movies and TV series like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Carmen Sandiego have been explored before.
The streaming service has also unveiled two additional offerings aimed at making it more kid-friendly.
The first is a service called Kids Recap Email, which will send parents information on their children’s content choices, Netflix recommendations based on their favourite shows, and printable colouring sheets and activities inspired by their favourite movies, shows, and characters.
Netflix will also provide parents with top themes and topic charts highlighting their children’s favourite shows. Parents will also be offered advice on how to improve their children’s Netflix viewing experience, as well as how to install parental controls on their profile. This service will start on July 16 and will be rolled out for users who have an active kids profile on their account.
The Kids Top 10 row is another Netflix addition. It will display the top 10 most popular children’s titles, together with their maturity ratings, which will be updated daily. All devices will display a red ‘Top 10’ badge for titles that make the cut for the Kids Top 10 row. The list can be viewed on the ‘Kids’ profile homepage or in the navigation bar’s ‘New & Popular’ section. Users in 93 countries can already access the Kids Top 10 row.
Netflix has also dabbled in interactive programming in the past, such as choose-your-own-adventure-style episodes. In that structure, it generated adaptations of shows like “Carmen Sandiego” and “Black Mirror,” but it falls short of being a true video game.
In recent discussions with investors, Netflix co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos expressed an interest in expanding into gaming. Fortnite, a battle royale shooting game, has also been mentioned as a rival for its consumers’ time.
Nonetheless, Hollywood companies have a shady past in the video game industry. Some corporations have had a lot of success licencing their movies or TV shows for video games, and Warner Bros. has developed a number of successful titles in-house throughout the years.
However, after years of futile attempts, Disney, the world’s largest entertainment firm, shut down most of its in-house gaming operations. Since then, it has concentrated on gaming licensing for Marvel and Star Wars IP.