Gaming and Netflix aren’t necessarily two ideas that you’d put in the same breath. Unless, of course, you’ve already seen the games on Netflix that you can play on your phone. Previously though, Netflix has released games by buying existing game studios. The next step, however, is to start its own in-house gaming studio with an industry giant at the helm.
This new game studio won’t be releasing titles any time soon. Still, its establishment is the company’s first step in providing world-class original games without the pesky in-app purchases or intrusive ads that we’re used to on other platforms.
‘This is another step in our vision to build a world-class games studio that will bring 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.’ This is an excerpt from a recent press release by VP of Game Studios, Amir Rahimi.
Rahimi continues: ‘It’s still early days, and we have much more work to do to deliver a great games experience on Netflix. Creating a game can take years, so I’m proud to see how we’re steadily building the foundation of our games studios in our first year, and look forward to sharing what we produce in the coming years.’
The new studio will be headed by Marko Lastikka and based in Helsinki. Lastikka has previous experience with video gaming studios such as Electronic Arts and Zynga.
Even though the Netflix executives paint a really vibrant, positive picture of the company’s foray into game development, the reality is currently far bleaker. As Shaun M Jooste reports, less than 1% of Netflix’s user base is currently playing the platform’s games. The introduction of a dedicated in-house gaming studio may make the company’s games more compelling. Still, critical thought would suggest that expanding the user base should come before expanding the platform. What’s the use of a shiny new gaming studio if no one plays the games you already host?