Streaming giant Netflix recently announced plans to establish its first-of-its-kind game studio to boost audience numbers.
According to a recent announcement by the streaming giant, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) plans to open an internal video game studio in Finland. This endeavor is part of a broader attempt by Netflix to boost audience and subscription numbers. Netflix’s projected game studio represents the first of its kind since the California-based company entered the mobile gaming space. The studio will be the first one built from scratch since Netflix’s official foray into gaming.
Netflix Games launched in November 2021, with the outfit’s inaugural purchase being Finland-based Next Games, for around $72 million. Since then, Netflix Games has purchased three more external game studios. These include Night School Studio and Boss Fight Entertainment, with each game studio designed to develop games catering to different tastes.
Netflix said that it chose Finland’s capital Helsinki as its newest studio location because of the inherent symbolism attached to the city. According to the subscription streaming service, the Finnish capital already hosts some of the best game talents across the globe.
Netflix also revealed that Marko Lastikka would helm its new Helsinki game studio. The executive is the co-founder and general manager of the Zygna Helsinki game development studio. Lastikka’s antecedents include a stint at Electronic Arts’ popular video game company. There, he served as a GM and executive producer, where he developed the SimCity BuildIt mobile games for iOS and Android. Furthermore, the new head of Netflix’s latest internal game studio also spent more than eight years at defunct developer Digital Chocolate.
Long Road Ahead for Netflix Game Studio Initiative
Despite its growing stable of gaming studios, Netflix admits that it is still early days for mobile gaming efforts. Furthermore, the subscription streaming service and production company added that new games could take years to build. As Amir Rahimi, the company vice president of game studios, said in a statement:
“It’s still early days, and we have much more work to do to deliver a great games experience on Netflix. 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.”
This suggests that Netflix is playing the waiting game. Furthermore, Rahimi’s comments also imply that the company’s already-established casual game releases are part of its broader long-term vision for mobile gaming. Netflix previously stated that it seeks to put out more than 50 gaming titles by the end of the year.
Netflix currently has more than 20 mobile games in its lineup, which are available for download to subscribers. However, as of August, reportedly fewer than 1% of the streaming giant’s mammoth subscriber base were engaging with games daily.
Netflix said that its games would have no ads and no in-app purchases. Users can currently see the games offered on the app but must download each game as an individual app.
Netflix stock price (NASDAQ: NFLX) is currently changing hands at $224.07. Almost a week ago, some reports suggested that the company’s shares were about to embark on a rally. At the time, Netflix’s shares were up nearly 40% since mid-June compared to the 6% increase in the S&P 500.