Netflix Plans to Expand Into Gaming Next Year, Rumors Suggest Partnership with Sony to Bring Their Games to the Service

Netflix is planning to introduce games to its movie and TV streaming service next year according to a report by Bloomberg. While deliberations are not being made public right now, images found by Twitter user @IdleSloth84 within the iOS app code suggest there may even be a partnership with Sony to bring their games to the service.

Despite adding games to Netflix, inside sources state the company will not be increasing prices to account for the extra content. The games will instead appear as a new programming genre similar to the documentary and stand-up specials categories. The current aim is to introduce gaming to the service within the next year, although deliberations are still ongoing.

Netflix is already recruiting for people to join its Product Innovation team with mentions of “game-like experiences” within the listings. The team is expected to expand over the next few months and they have already recruited Mike Verdu to become vice president of game development. Verdu has previously worked as Facebook’s vice president of AR/VR content, working with developers to bring games to their Oculus Rift, Quest, and Go VR headsets. Before that he was Senior Vice President at EA Mobile and has also worked at companies like Atari and Zynga.

Netflix’s iOS app already has files hidden deep within that pertain to the company’s plans to add games to its service. These include an “N Game” logo and a shark fin logo that corroborates claims the gaming service’s codename is “Shark”. According to @IdleSloth84, the datamined images in the code also include stylized art of PS5 DualSense controllers and artwork for Ghost of Tsushima, suggesting there may even be a partnership with Sony in the works. Netflix has already signed a deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment to stream movies like the Uncharted film once their theater runs have come to an end, so a gaming partnership between the two would not be too far-fetched.

Despite this potential partnership, Sony is still aiming to improve their own game streaming service, PlayStation Now. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has confirmed they’re currently working on a cloud strategy that is “unique and only on PlayStation“. This includes exchanging ideas with rival Microsoft, with whom they’re in a strategic partnership, to utilize some of the latter company’s cloud assets. News on Sony’s streaming cloud service plans and any potential Netflix partnership will be announced “when the time is right”.

[Source: Bloomberg, Twitter]