Netflix has taken yet another step into the world of video game development, marking a continued commitment to providing games to its subscriber base, in addition to film and TV. The company has announced it will be establishing a brand-new internal game studio located in Finland to aid its gaming ambitions.
Heading up the new studio is Marko Lastikka, a former General Manager at Zynga and Electronic Arts. His appointment continues the company’s trend of pursuing veteran executives from the mobile game space to further cement its focus. Netflix has already hired several former Zynga and Electronics Arts alumni to its leadership team.
The formation of the new studio comes in the wake of the company’s acquisition of Next Games, another studio based in Finland. Netflix also owns Night School Studio (Oxenfree 2), as well as Boss Fight Entertainment.
The Netflix video game offering currently exists on mobile devices. Users can download a number of exclusive games via the Netflix mobile app, or from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, though they must verify their Netflix subscription status to play them.
While the service started off with few games, its offerings have become increasingly stronger in 2022, with mobile exclusives of critically-acclaimed games like Into The Breach and Before Your Eyes, as well as strong originals developed with publishing partners – Devolver Digital’s Poinpy being the shining example here. Several of these games have made their way onto our list of the best mobile games in 2022 so far.
Netflix has several more titles like this in the pipeline for its games offering. The excellent narrative mystery game Immortality, melancholic platformer Spirifarer, and arthouse adventure game Kentucky Route Zero are all existing games whose mobile editions will be exclusive to Netflix.
Devolver Digital also has at least two more enticing titles slated for the future: Reigns: Three Kingdoms – which takes the Tinder-style swiping of the narrative series and transposes it to the beloved Chinese epic, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms – and Terra Nil, a reverse city-building game where you help nature reclaim a wasteland.
We’ve certainly come to admire Netflix’s moves in the gaming space, and will continue to watch what the company does with great curiosity, especially since it was recently reported that less than 1% of Netflix subscribers are playing its games.