As part of the company’s push to establish itself in the gaming space, Netflix is setting up its own video game studio, which will be led by Marko Lastikka, a former Zynga and Electronic Arts executive.
While the streaming juggernaut had previously purchased other third-party developers like Oxenfree‘s Night School Studio and Next Games, the team behind mobile puzzle RPG Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales, this new venture is set to be a games studio that will be built from scratch. It’ll will join Next Games in Helsinki, Finland, which Netflix says “is home to some of the best game talent in the world.”
Netflix has been steadily adding to their collection of mobile game offerings, which includes titles such as indie strategy game Into The Breach and rhythm auto-runner Hextech Mayhem. The company’s gaming strategy also involves appealing to fans of Netflix’s portfolio of original programming, with a handful of games based on the Stranger Things franchise, and the already-announced The Queen’s Gambit Chess coming soon.
“Our ultimate strategy is really about making sure there is a game on Netflix for all of our members. We have a lot of members, a diverse group of audiences, and so we want to make sure that we have the diversity in the variety of games to really serve all of those members,” said Leanne Loombe, Netflix Head of External Game Development.
Recently, the global streaming giant has also announced a partnership with major video game company Ubisoft, with plans to develop a sequel for Valiant Hearts, and a new take on The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot with roguelike elements. The partnership will also bring a live-action Assassin’s Creed television series alongside an all-new mobile game in the franchise that will be exclusive to Netflix.
Subscribers can access and download the growing list of Netflix mobile games for free from either the Netflix app or the Google Play Store, or as individual games on the iOS App Store.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s growing interest in the gaming industry has also led to a number of television series based on video games. These include animated hits Arcane (based on League of Legends) and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (based on Cyberpunk 2077), as well as a live-action adaptation of Horizon Zero Dawn in the works.
With reports of Netflix losing 200,000 subscribers between January and March, and 1.3 million users between April and June, connecting with the thriving video games industry might be just the boost the company needs for a strong bounce back.