Netflix wants to extend its nascent gaming efforts to PCs and TVs, and it's looking to launch its own cloud gaming service to do so, VP of game development Mike Verdu confirmed at TechCrunch Disrupt on Tuesday. "We’re very seriously exploring a cloud gaming offering," Verdu said.
"We'll approach this the same way as we did with mobile — start small, be humble, be thoughtful — but it is a step we think we should take," Verdu added. "The extension into the cloud is really about reaching the other devices where people experience Netflix."
Netflix's cloud gaming ambitions don't come as much of a surprise: The company has been looking to hire multiple staffers to build its own cloud gaming infrastructure, as Protocol was first to report in August.
Verdu didn't share many additional details, but suggested the company was looking to launch more than just casual games on TVs. He declined to say whether Netflix would build its own game controllers like Google has done for its failed Stadia service, but he said the titles wouldn't rely on TV remotes for input.
Netflix has released 35 games for mobile devices thus far, and the company said Tuesday as part of its earnings release that it had an additional 55 games in its pipeline. Fourteen of those games are being built by Netflix's own studios, Verdu said, adding that the company was going to launch an additional studio in Southern California soon. The studio will be led by Chacko Sonny, who previously served as executive producer for Activision Blizzard's Overwatch franchise, according to a Netflix spokesperson.
Verdu called Netflix's expansion into gaming a pivotal moment for the company, but admitted that it was a slow and deliberate multiyear effort. However, the company may already be seeing some rewards from those efforts. "We’re seeing some encouraging signs of gameplay leading to higher retention," the company wrote in its letter to investors Tuesday.
Update: This post was updated on Oct .18, 2022, with additional details on Netflix's new Southern California studio.
Note: Protocol is owned by Axel Springer, whose CEO, Mathias Döpfner, is on the board of Netflix.