Netflix is doubling down on gaming, launching its own game studio to take development in-house.
Netflix began offering mobile games in late 2021. The company had been gearing up to offer the service for months, even hiring former Electronic Arts executive Mike Verdu to head up its efforts.
The company is taking a step further with plans to launch its own internal game studio, giving the company the ability to build out its own catalog of games rather than relying exclusively on third parties.
“Today, I’m excited to announce that we are establishing an internal games studio in Helsinki, Finland, with Marko Lastikka as the studio director,” writes Amir Rahimi, VP of Game Studios. “This is another step in our vision to build a world-class games studio that will bring a variety of delightful and deeply engaging original games — with no ads and no in-app purchases — to our hundreds of millions of members around the world.”
The company chose Helsinki specifically because of the broad talent pool available there. Rahimi continues:
“Why Helsinki? It is home to some of the best game talent in the world. This will be a games studio that we build from scratch, and our second games studio in Helsinki alongside Next Games, which became part of Netflix earlier this year. Along with Night School Studio and Boss Fight Entertainment, these four studios, each with different strengths and focus areas, will develop games that will suit the diverse tastes of our members.”
Netflix clearly hopes that building its own games will help it gain a competitive advantage, and, truth be told, the company needs it. According to a recent report, roughly 99% of the company’s customers have never tried its games. Perhaps games that are more customized to its user base will gain more traction.