Streaming giant Netflix, is diving into gaming in a big way, and will be forming their own in-house gaming studio.
Popular video streaming platform Netflix, is no longer relying exclusively on third-party teams to support its gaming catalogue. The company is forming an in-house game studio based in Helsinki, Finland that plans to create “world class” original games without ads or in-app purchases. While the studio is too early in its production for detail, it’s reported that EA and Zynga alumni Marko Lastikka will serve as directors of the project.
This development marks the first of it’s kind since the streaming platform began it’s push into the gaming industry in Novemeber 2021. Earlier this year, it acquired Finland-based Next Games, founded by a former Rovio exec, and the publisher behind Stranger Things and Walking Dead games, for around $72 million. It also bought the Allen, Texas-based studio, Boss Fight Entertainment, but hasn’t created a developer from the ground up until now.
Since last Novemeber, Netflix has put out a total of 31 mobile games available for download to subscribers, with the promise of accelerating it to 50, including “Queen’s Gambit Chess,” based on the hit Netflix series, by the end of the year.
While the platform’s diversion into gaming is still in its infancy, the games have been downloaded a total of 23.3 million times and average 1.7 million daily users, according to Apptopia, an app analytics company. That’s less than 1% of Netflix’s 221 million subscribers.
Whereas Netflix used to rely on outsiders’ games, including slightly modified versions of existing titles, it is now increasingly focused on truly unique projects that you won’t find anywhere else. Which more people will subscribe to the streaming platform for the purpose of accessing the game library. As of the writing of this story, Netflix has not commented on their games’ engagement data.
However, when it comes to games, according to Netflix we won’t see the progression of them for years.
“It’s still early days, and we have much more work to do to deliver a great games experience on Netflix,” according to Amir Rahimi, the company’s vice president of game studios. “Creating a game can take years, so I’m proud to see how we’re steadily building the foundation of our games studios in our first year.”
While we won’t see the full scope of Netflix’s new gaming studio for quite some time, the promise of future developments is encouraging.