Netflix is forming its first in-house game development studio in Helsinki, Finland.
The developer will focus on producing original games for the streamer’s nascent gaming platform, Netflix Games.
In a blog post, Netflix said it chose Helsinki because it’s “home to some of the best game talent in the world.” Some Finnish developers include Remedy Entertainment (Control), Housemarque (Returnal), Rovio (Angry Birds) and Supercell (Clash of Clans). The developer has also appointed industry veteran Marko Lastikka as the studio director of its Helsinki office. Lastikka previously worked at Zynga for five years and Electronic Arts for four.
While this is the first gaming studio that Netflix has built from the ground up, it does own three other developers: Helsinki’s Next Games (The Waking Dead: No Man’s Land), California’s Night School Studio (Oxenfree) and Texas’ Boss Fight Entertainment (myVEGAS Bingo).
That said, we don’t know much about what any of these teams are working on. As Netflix admits in its blog post, “it’s still early days” and “creating a game can take years,” so it will likely be a while before we see more.
Earlier this year, Netflix acknowledged that it’s been “quiet” on its plans, saying the months following the November 2021 launch of Netflix Games have been about “learning and experimenting and trying to figure out what things are going to actually resonate with our members.” An August report also indicated that fewer than one percent of overall Netflix subscribers are even using Netflix Games.
What we do know, though, is that the company recently struck up a partnership with Ubisoft to bring three exclusive titles to Netflix Games in 2023. Oxenfree was also surprise launched on the platform over the weekend as part of the company’s Tudum event.
Netflix Games is included at no additional cost with a Netflix subscription and all games available on the platform are ad-free.