Netflix has been in the mobile gaming space for a bit, but none of the games that it is giving access to subscribers are made in-house. It has also acquired three other video game makers, but now, it looks like the streaming giant is finally starting its own in-house video game studio.
In its announcement post, Netflix says that it is establishing this internal games studio in Helsinki, Finland. It will be helmed by Marko Lastikka, who was previously the GM of Zynga Helsinki. As for why it chose the location it chose, the streaming company says that this is because “it is home to some of the best game talent in the world”. It is also where Next Games, a studio that Netflix acquired earlier this year, is based.
Naturally, with the announcement just being made, it will be a long wait before the studio can push out playable titles to subscribers. As the post itself says, “it’s still early days”, and that “creating a game can take years”. Though for whatever it is worth, the company sounds pretty optimistic about its gaming ventures with the establishing of this studio.
All that being said though, it still remains to be seen if this is something that Netflix subscribers actually want. Previously, CNBC reported that according to stats by Apptopia, less than 1% of subscribers are actively playing the streamer company’s games. Of its 221 million subscribers, only 1.7 million are registered as daily users of its games.
It’s also worth noting that the internal studio announcement post that Netflix wants to deliver 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”. And the company is saying this with a corporation’s version of a straight face while prepping its ad-supported subscription tier for shows. These contradicting messages are sending mixed signals at best.