Netflix is mostly known for letting us watch our favourite movies and shows without ay major problems, while recently, it has been making an avid push into gaming. And about time, considering that the gaming industry has levelled up during the pandemic and received a boost as people have been confined to their homes for a long time.
It made its first acquisition of a gaming studio last year in the form of Night School Studio, and also rolled out five mobile gaming titles in select markets.
Netflix is not holding back when it comes to make its mark on the gaming industry, as it has announced that it will acquire Next Games, the same one which gave us mobile puzzle RPG Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales.
The California -based streaming giant will be paying 2.10 euros ($2.33) in cash per share, which comes to a grand total of €65 million ($72 million. While the board of Next Games has approved the deal and is currently recommending it to their shareholders, the deal is expected to close in the second quarter of the year.
The Finland-based mobile game developer is a suitable acquisition for Netflix, which aims to complement its streaming service (of which it is already a giant). Its gaming portfolio contains Next And Night School, and it may add more names to the five acquisitions it has made so far. It has 222 million paid memberships in over 190 countries.
This ensures that Netflix does not fall back in the gaming race, as other companies are also stepping up and focusing their investments in the gaming sector (and making acquisitions, such as Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard last year).
“Next Games has a seasoned management team, strong track record with mobile games based on entertainment franchises, and solid operational capabilities,” said Michael Verdu, VP of games at Netflix, in a statement. “We are excited for Next Games to join Netflix as a core studio in a strategic region and key talent market, expanding our internal game studio capabilities. While we’re just getting started in games, I am confident that together with Next Games we will be able to build a portfolio of world class games that will delight our members around the world.”
Coming to Next Games, it has made games not only on Stranger Things (whose fourth season will be coming soon) but also The Walking Dead, another Netflix hit. It ended last year with 120 employees, and its last annual results showed €27.2 million in revenue in 2020. 95% of revenue was generated from in-game purchases.
“Joining forces with the world’s largest streaming service, Netflix, presents an opportunity for a logical and exciting continuation of our strategy to craft interactive experiences for the world to enjoy. Our close collaboration with Netflix on Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales has already proven that together we create a strong partnership. This is a unique opportunity to level-up the studio on all fronts and continue on all fronts and continue on our mission together,” said Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO, Next Games.