Netflix Expands Further Into Gaming, Buying Developer Next Games

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Netflix Expands Further Into Gaming, Buying Developer Next Games
Photo by David Balev on Unsplash

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Netflix plans to buy Finnish mobile games developer Next Games for $72 million, the companies announced Wednesday, in a deal that sees the streaming giant continue its push into gaming.


The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year and would be Netflix’s second acquisition of a gaming studio in less than six months, following its September acquisition of Glendale-based gaming studio Night School. The streaming service, which has a huge footprint in Los Angeles, has looked to expand its offerings beyond traditional movies and TV shows—launching video games for mobile devices last year and adding interactive movies and shows to its platform.

Founded in 2013, Next Games develops mobile games based on popular entertainment intellectual property, including games inspired by the Netflix hit series “Stranger Things” and AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” The Helsinki-based firm has roughly 120 employees and reported about $30 million in sales in 2020, with 95% of its revenue coming from in-game purchases in its otherwise free-to-play games, according to the company.

"Next Games has a seasoned management team, strong track record with mobile games based on entertainment franchises and solid operational capabilities," Michael Verdu, Netflix’s vice president of games, said in a statement. "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.”

Next Games shareholders will receive 2.10 euros in cash for each share of the company, amounting to a total equity value of about 65 million euros ($72 million). The gaming studio’s board unanimously recommended that the shareholders accept the Netflix offer.

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David Shultz

David Shultz is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara, California. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside and Nautilus, among other publications.

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Courtesy of Rivian.

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March Capital's Jamie Montgomery. Illustration by Dilara Mundy.

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