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GameStop shares slide 6% premarket after Netflix makes first videogame hire signaling potential shakeup of sector

GameStop Corp. shares
GME,
-6.91%

slid about 6% in premarket trade Thursday, after Netflix Inc.
NFLX,
+1.34%

announced its first major videogame hire, potentially signaling a move beyond its streaming-video roots. The streaming giant hired Mike Verdu as vice president of game development, poaching him from Facebook Inc.
FB,
-1.27%
,
where as vice president of content for Reality Labs, he oversaw Oculus Studios as well as the teams bringing second- and third-party virtual-reality games and other apps to Oculus virtual-reality headsets. Before that, Verdu was senior vice president of mobile for Electronic Arts Inc.
EA,
-0.09%
,
responsible for mobile game studios that operated franchises like “The Sims,” “Plants vs. Zombies” and “Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.” “Putting this together, it is clearly still early days and much of the detail remains to be clarified, but this feels like a significant event with broad ramifications across the video games landscape,” Citigroup analyst Thomas A. Singlehurst wrote in a note. Singlehurst expects the move to accelerate the move of video games to cloud-based platforms, “and that this could bring with it the risk of disruption in the form of a shift in the monetization model for the traditional PC/console side of the market.” Electronic Arts shares and Activision Blizzard
ATVI,
-1.00%

shares were slightly lower. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.
TTWO,
-0.96%

was down 0.2% and Sony
sne
was down 0.4%. Zynga Inc.
ZNGA,
-1.03%

was down 0.2%. Netflix shares jumped 2.4% and are up 1.3% in the year through Wednesday, while the S&P 500
SPX,
+0.12%

has gained 16%.

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