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Netflix acquires another developer to build ‘world class games’

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It’s buying the developer of a Stranger Things mobile RPG for €65M

Next Games is a developer based in Finland.
Image: Netflix

Netflix has made an offer to acquire Next Games, the Finland-based developer behind mobile puzzle RPG Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales. In a blog post, Netflix’s VP of games Mike Verdu said that the acquisition was to help the company “build a library of great games for our members to enjoy.” Next Games has also developed a pair of Walking Dead-themed mobile games.

The acquisition comes as Netflix is building a mobile gaming service into its regular subscription service. Netflix Games launched on iOS and Android last year, and consists of a handful of mobile games that are available free to download from app stores for Netflix subscribers, with no ads or in-app purchases.

“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,” Verdu writes.

So far, many of the titles on Netflix’s gaming service have been developed by external partners. Its two games based on the Stranger Things franchise — Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3: The Game — both list Texas-based BonusXP as their developer. Netflix has also licensed the pre-existing game Asphalt Xtreme to offer exclusively to its subscribers. But with the acquisition of Next Games and Night School Studio last year, it seems the streaming giant is hoping to develop more titles for its service in-house.

TechCrunch notes that acquisitions are relatively uncommon for Netflix, with just five associated with the streaming giant on Crunchbase. But its move to acquire Next Games comes as the likes of Microsoft and Sony are making major developer acquisitions, widely seen as a way of building out their respective gaming subscription services.

Netflix is offering to acquire Next Games for €65 million (about $72 million), and Next Games’ board of directors has recommended that shareholders accept the offer. The offer equates to €2.1 in cash per share, which Reuters notes is over double its €0.93 closing price yesterday. The companies expect the transaction to complete in the second quarter of 2022.

Disclosure: The Verge is currently producing a series with Netflix.