Netflix Opens Games Studio in Finland Image

To imagine the world without Netflix today would be very difficult. The streaming company which introduced us to the concept of binge-watching and coined the phrase “Netflix and chill” is one of the most powerful cultural revolutions we have experienced in recent times and has inspired others to follow suit. Yet, Netflix wasn’t always the streaming giant it is today. In fact, it started off much more modestly with DVD rental. Over the years, however, Netflix managed to shape itself as one of the staying powers of the streaming space. The service quickly discontinued its rental business and took a bid on a fresh and challenging concept – bringing movies to the Internet in a bid to tackle piracy, create a new customer-focused product, and generally start the “nouvelle vogue” or “new age” in cinema.

While some critics deplored Netflix as a movie theater killer none of this has happened. In fact, Netflix itself has produced quite a few movies that have been projected on big screens across the world with significant success at the Box Office. Now, though, Netflix is branching out into even more activities, including video gaming.

Why Is Netflix Transitioning to Video Gaming?

As a pioneer of entertainment, Netflix created a service that stands out by virtue of how useful it is to the end consumer. Now, the company is looking to make a big splash in video gaming, and more specifically mobile gaming. For the longest time now, Netflix’s board of directors has been aware of one simple truth – video games are stealing its potential consumer base. Not just video games, though. There have been numerous online options, such as eSports games that have consistently encroached on Netflix territory, vying for attention with some of its key demographics.

Epic Games, the company that created Fortnite, has been cited as arch-rival number one. Yet, Netflix isn’t just looking at the numbers. It’s looking at creating actionable products as a whole. That is why observers have big expectations for Netflix’s new gaming product. It is believed that the goal will be to focus on developing experiences that are valuable for the Netflix brand rather than trying to increase revenue. The company has always operated with a consumer-centric focus which means that by creating value for the people using the platform, Netflix has been able to generate solid revenue and please shareholders. The company culture is much different than what we are used to in many other brands of its caliber. Netflix remains true to its core values which are to continually improve the viewing experience and be a focal point of people’s living rooms and those who want to stream on the go.

Netflix Means Business With Video Game Development

Recently, Netflix announced the opening of an internal games studio in Finland, which will be run by Marko Lastikka, co-founder of Zynga Games in Helsinki. This development together with recent acquisitions demonstrates how the company’s gaming strategy is changing. As a matter of fact, just in the past six months, Netflix has acquired three new gaming studios: Next Games, Boss Fight, and Spry Fox.

Night School Studio was Netflix’s first purchase, and so far has produced the Oxenfree game franchise which is a supernatural thriller with an eerie soundtrack. Not only that, but the studio’s games are also available for multiple platforms, namely Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PCs, and PlayStation. There are currently over 40 games available on Netflix, and the company has more games in development in its own studios. 

There are not any commercials or in-app purchases because Netflix includes the games as part of its existing membership; this allows it to once again prioritize the user experience, as it does with its streaming service. Since January 2022, 23.3 million people have downloaded video games from Netflix, which is less than 1% of all Netflix customers. Although Netflix still has a ways to go before its latest offering stands out, they do not appear too concerned and are instead viewing this as a learning curve.

A Brave New World for Video Gaming

Netflix now has the chance to not just launch casual games but create blockbuster hits and titles. Companies such as Blizzard are difficult to beat, but Netflix is getting started and that is good news indeed. The streaming giant knows how to go from one thing to the next while making sure that it has the consumer’s best interest at heart. For the past decade or so, Netflix has been a perpetual source of inspiration and good cinema. Now, it promises to be just the same for video games.

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