Netflix sets up its first in-house video game development studio in Helsinki, Finland

The new studio will be based in Helsinki and headed by Marko Lastica, according to a statement sent by the company on Monday. Lastikka previously spent more than five years at Zynga Inc. , where he worked on projects such as FarmVille 3, and before that he was a co-founder and executive producer of Electronic Arts Inc.’s Tracktwenty Studio also in Helsinki, according to his LinkedIn page.

“This is another step in our vision to build a world-class game design studio that delivers a variety of original and engaging projects, without ads or in-app purchases, to hundreds of millions of our members around the world.” Amir Rahimi, Vice President of Game Studios at Netflix, said in the statement.

The new studio will be Netflix’s fourth overall. After the company acquired another Helsinki studio, Netx Games, and Boss Fight Entertainment, earlier this year. In September 2021, Netflix brought in Studio Night School.

The streaming platform currently has 31 mobile games in its catalog, which have no ads or in-app purchases, but are only available to subscribers.. The company plans by the end of the year to provide 50 games. This includes Stranger Things: Puzzle Games, developed by Next Games, which is based on the streaming platform’s hit show and will soon be exclusive to Netflix.

Netflix set out to push it into video games in 2021 as a way to diversify its offerings as growth stalled. However, just over a year later, less than 1% of the company’s 221 million users play games on the platform, Cnbc reported last month, citing an analysis by Apptopia. The rush to boost the gaming division came after the company lost 970,000 subscribers in the second quarter.

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