Netflix, the media and entertainment giant, will no longer dabble in the gaming industry, but rather intensify efforts and start a studio.
The game studio will be headquartered in Helsinki, like the character from Money Heist, you say? Well, yes, of course, Helsinki, Finland, to be exact, seeing as Netflix has prior investments in the country – for example, acquiring Next Games, a Finland game developer earlier this year. The media giant also claims Finland is home to some of the best game talent in the world.
Joining Next Games in the new merger include; indie developers Night School Studio – creators of indie gem, Oxenfree – and Boss Fight Entertainment, a mobile game developer known for its strategy RPG, Dungeon Boss. Each studio will concentrate on different areas of expertise to develop games that will “suit the diverse tastes of our members.” Marko Lastikka was also announced as studio director.
Amir Rahimi, VP of (Netflix) Game Studios said in the announcement “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.”
No stranger to the video game industry, Netflix has its very own in-app game tab included free with membership that allows unlimited access to many ad-free titles on Android and Apple devices, including indie games like Oxenfree, various Stranger Things mobile games, and my personal favourite, Exploding Kittens – The Game, to name but a few.
It begs the question; will Netflix only concentrate on mobile specific titles? Or will we see something similar to Amazon Games Studios, complete with AAA-developed games such as New World. Though too early to tell, it will be interesting to see how this story develops over the coming months.