In an effort to keep customers entertained and subscribed, Netflix announced a while back that they would be releasing games for free to its subscribers, giving them an alternative form of entertainment.
The company has since acquired several game studios, but now it looks like Netflix wants to start developing its own titles in-house. In a press release, Netflix has revealed that they have created their own in-house game development studio where it will be based in Helsinki, Finland.
What’s interesting about this move is that the new studio will be helmed by Marko Lastikka, who was previously the GM for Zynga Helsinki, who most definitely knows a thing or two about mobile gaming. According to a statement by Amir Rahimi, the VP of Netflix’s Game Studios:
“Today, I’m excited to announce that we are establishing an internal games studio in Helsinki, Finland, with Marko Lastikka as the studio director. 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.”
Rahimi notes that it is still “early days” so it could be a while before we see more titles released from the company. It’s an interesting strategy, especially since previous reports suggested that only a fraction of Netflix’s customers play their games, so we’re not sure if this is worth the investment.
Then again, all it really needs is one or two hit titles to justify it, so only time will tell if Netflix’s efforts will pay off.