Netflix becomes the latest tech firm to pivot into the world of gaming, with the streaming giant announcing its acquisition of Finnish firm Next Games in a €65m (£54m) deal.
Founded in 2013 and led by Teemu Huuhtanen, Next Games creates and operates engaging mobile games, with company’s key strategy being to develop games that are based on popular entertainment IP, such as Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales, a story-driven puzzle role playing game (RPG) inspired by one of Netflix’s most watched series.
The company had approximately 120 employees at the end of 2021 and reported sales of approximately €27.2m in 2020, with 95 per cent of revenues generated from in-game purchases.
“Next Games has a seasoned management team, strong track record with mobile games based on entertainment franchises, and solid operational capabilities,” said Michael Verdu, Vice President of Games, Netflix.
“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.”
“We have had an unwavering focus to execute on our vision: to become the partner of choice for global entertainment businesses and craft authentic and long-lasting interactive entertainment based on the world’s most beloved franchises,” said Teemu Huuhtanen, Chief Executive Officer, Next Games.
“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.”
The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, and comes as more and more streaming and tech giants are making the pivot into gaming.
Microsoft broke records earlier this year with its whopping purchase of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard for $75bn, meanwhile Apple launched mobile game subscription service Arcade for iOS phones and iPad users.
Moreover, Netflix is undoubtedly trying to keep competitors like Disney+ at bay, as the market becomes increasingly saturated.
Whilst the Silicon Valley giant hasn’t made many acquisitions over the years, it has recently bought two interactive content makers for younger audiences, anime comics publisher, as well as the Roald Dahl estate.