Netflix announced that it is opening a brand new game studio, based in Helsinki, Finland.
The company’s Night School Studio and Boss Fight Entertainment are accelerating the development of Netflix’s game products. What’s unique about this new in-house studio, however, is that it was built from the ground up, rather than being acquired under the auspices of Netflix.
Marko Lastikka, who has worked for the popular game studio Electronic Arts and Zynga for a decade, will lead the studio. His experience in executive roles at companies makes him the ideal person to lead Netflix’s new in-house game studio.
The fact that Netflix is still showing its ambition to break into the gaming field, with newly announced games shows that the company is very serious about pushing many game products to assert its position. With increasingly difficult financial conditions and falling consumer spending, the company is scaling back its non-core operations, but interest in the gaming segment remains unabated and it seems Games are currently the focus of this company’s development.
Netflix is currently focused on mobile games, but the company has moved into streaming video games over the past few years and because its core business is video streaming. We could see them expand into game streaming to compete with Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and Nvidia GeForce Now among others.
Night School Studio designed to launch the game Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals from 2021, with MWM Interactive acting as publisher. The sequel is set to launch on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5, but an exact date has yet to be announced.
Netflix has also announced more games coming this fall. Kentucky Route Zero, Desta: The Memories Between, Spongebob Squarepants: Get Cooking, Nailed It! Baking Bash, Narcos: Cartel Wars Unlimited and Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales will be the upcoming launch titles of the platform.
This development marks the company’s first of its kind since the streaming giant entered the mobile games space in November 2021. It bought Finland-based Next Games with about $72 million and bought 3 outside game studios in the past year.
Netflix has more than 20 mobile games to download for subscribers, and the company expects 50 games by the end of the year. Notable productions include Stranger Things: 1984 and Queen’s Gambit Chess based on the Netflix series.
“We still have a lot of work to do to deliver great gaming experiences on Netflix,” Amir Rahimi, the company’s vice president of game development, said in a statement. “Making a game can take years, so I’m proud to see how we built a solid foundation for our game studios in the first year.”
The company says that its game will have no ads and no in-app purchases. Currently, users can watch the games offered in the Netflix app, but the games load themselves as individual apps.