After repeatedly showing interest in video games and testing the waters for a while, American streaming giant, Netflix, has revealed it is launching its very own internal games development studio. Netflix asserts that this new first-party gaming arm will help deliver world-class original titles devoid of any ads and in-app purchases. Video games have seen exponential growth in the recent few years and are proving to be a huge money maker, with every company wanting a slice of the cake, including Netflix.
The streaming company has been somewhat on a shopping spree for game studios and earlier this year, the company bought Helsinki-based Next Games, creator of the mobile game Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales and also Texas-based Boss Fight Studio, along with purchasing California-based Night School Studio last year. Now, Netflix is establishing its internal game studio that will be based in Helsinki Finland, with former Zynga executive Marko Lastikka acting as the studio director.
Delving a bit into why Netflix chose Helsinki as the place for its new studio, Amir Rahimi, vice president of Game Studios at Netflix, expressed in a press release, “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.”
However, the company doesn’t expect to start shipping out its first-party games anytime soon and says that everything is still in its early stages. “It’s still early days, and we have much more work to do to deliver a great games experience on Netflix.” Amir said. He further added that “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, and look forward to sharing what we produce in the coming years.”
Undoubtedly, Netflix diving head first into the games business will help the company lure more audiences onto the platform and expand its offerings. Last year, the company started bringing games to its mobile applications, allowing subscribers to download titles to their phones at no extra cost, and just recently, Netflix partnered with Ubisoft to bring three new games to its service. So, setting up an internal games development studio seems like the next logical step forward, as this will make them less reliant on third-party developers and help them come up with more quality releases.