Netflix to Open New Gaming Studio, Aims to Strengthen its Mobile Gaming Arm

Netflix has come a long way. From mailing DVDs to producing entertainment materials, then becoming the leading streaming company in the whole world. But it seems like Netflix is not done yet. The company is gearing to make another breakthrough, this time in gaming.

Netflix announced on Monday that it will be furthering its venture into mobile gaming and will build the company’s first in-house game in Helsinki, Finland.

The facility will spearhead the creation, development, and enhancement of Netflix games which will be launched as soon as possible.

After the streaming giant suffered massive losses during the last fiscal cycle, the company hopes to retain its subscribers and attract new customers with the new facility.

However, this year, Netflix saw a 60% plunge in its stocks for the first time in a decade. The financial crisis faced by Netflix can be attributed to the broader national and global economic downturn.

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A long-term plan

An analyst from D.A. Davidson, Tom Forte, said that the decision Netflix made puts them on an offensive side than a defensive one, which ought to benefit the company should its gaming department be successful in its undertakings.

“To Netflix’s credit, they’re a long-term thinker. If you think about their pivots, the DVDs to streaming, they think long-term, and they act long-term,” said Forte.

Forte explained that Netflix understands that the gaming industry will become the main focus of the 21st century.

People are now spending more time playing and streaming video games, which is why Netflix saw the need to penetrate the industry. Moreover, Netflix-themed games could also be used to market the productions created by the streaming platform like Stranger Things.

The team behind the gaming department

The Netflix gaming studio will be under the supervision of the company’s VP of Game Studios, Amir Rahimi, and a gaming veteran Marko Lastikka.

“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,” said Rahimi.

According to the VP, the area they chose was Helsinki because it is supposedly the place of the best game talent in the world.

While the team is building the department from scratch, they are confident that given enough resources, they will be able to build an empire not to be reckoned with.

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Once completed, the gaming studio in Helsinky will be Netflix’s fourth gaming studio. It has already acquired Next Games, Night School Studio, and Boss Fight Entertainment. All of which have helped Netflix rake in consumers for its 32 games, which have been downloaded around 30 million times.

Netflix games are available for mobile devices running on Android and iOS. Tables, phones, iPhones, iPads, and iPods could download the games, with themes varying from each other such as “Stranger Thing:1984” and “Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story.”

The new gaming studio will soon open. However, Rahimi said that they would take small but careful steps to help the facility grow and become a global player in terms of mobile gaming.

“It’s still early days. 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, and look forward to sharing what we produce in the coming years,” he said.