Netflix Joining the Game Streaming Movement?
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I didn’t manage to hit send on this in time yesterday, and I’m off today, so I figure better late than never.
The most important thing in tech today is …
Netflix has hired Mike Verdu, Facebook’s head of augmented reality and virtual reality content and a veteran of Electronic Arts, Kabam, Zynga and Atari, to be vice president of game development.
It’s still not clear what shape Netflix’s gaming ambitions will take. But the move comes as Netflix is trying to build merchandise and experiences around its shows and characters. It also comes as gaming companies and cloud giants are racing to do to gaming what Netflix did to TV: disrupt the existing hardware model with streaming and subscriptions.
The Wall Street Journal has a story saying Netflix is looking to make its own games and include them as part of the app experience — an ambition that runs afoul of Apple’s App Store rules. I wonder: Does Netflix dream of taking this beyond distribution of little mobile games it cooks up itself? Netflix has a massive global user base that craves entertainment, and that’s the same crowd Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, Sony and others are pursuing with cloud gaming and virtual reality products. Why wouldn’t Netflix eventually pitch itself as a platform and distributor for third-party game developers, too?
Perhaps Netflix’s main obstacle is a shortage of capital. Unlike most of those other companies, it isn’t profitable, and places bets with borrowed money. For the streaming giant, that makes gaming a high-stakes game.
While you were sleeping …
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In the broader world …
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen cautioned Thursday that prices could continue to rise for several more months, though she expects the recent startling inflation run to ease over time. CNBC
On the horizon …
7/19: Fortt Knox 1:1 with PubMatic CEO Rajeev Goel