Netflix builds a studio in Finland and hires dozens in Gaming Push

  • Netflix is ​​making a slew of hires and opening a studio in Finland to bolster its mobile games push.
  • Netflix wants to create a variety of games to appeal to its global audience.
  • But only 5% of subscribers have played its games in the past month, according to Forrester.

Netflix is ​​hiring dozens of experts to bolster its year-long push into gaming.

In the past month alone, the streamer posted 33 jobs, per LinkedIn, to grow his mobile games business, which he launched less than a year ago in a bid to keep subscribers glued to Netflix.

His fledgling effort has had little impact so far. According to a new Forrester survey of Netflix subscribers, reviewed exclusively by Insider, only 5% have played any of Netflix’s mobile games in the past month, 4% said its mobile games make them subscribe and 54% said “I don’t care”. about games on Netflix.

Analytics firm Apptopia previously found that Netflix games, which are only available to subscribers, averaged just 1.7 million daily users, less than 1% of Netflix’s total subscriber base. Netflix, CNBC reported. Netflix had no comment on the survey or the data.

However, on Monday, the streamer announcement he was opening a game studio in Helsinki, Finland. The announcement and the hiring surge follows Netflix’s acquisitions of three other game studios over the past year, Next Games, also in Helsinki; as well as Boss Fight Studios and Night School Studio.

The expansion of Netflix’s gaming efforts comes as its subscriber numbers first dipped in the first two quarters of 2022, leading it to crack down on password sharing and reverse his longstanding opposition to advertising. The company in a Letter to shareholders 2021 Name-checked Epic Games, along with YouTube and TikTok, are the main rivals for user time and, in a 2022 shareholder letter, cited gaming as an investment priority after its core business of video streaming.

Netflix has remained silent on its game strategy, beyond tell CNBC in August that he plans to grow his current catalog of games to 50 by the end of the year from 31. But an analysis of his job postings gives some insight into his ambitions.

He hires for engineer, program manager, technical director and producer positions, as well as “highly skilled art and game design professionals” and says he seeks to create “the next generation of video games for a global audience” and “a wide variety of genres and audiences.”

Some of Netflix’s existing games are modeled after popular series like “Stranger Things,” others after card games. One of the current new job postings emphasizes the importance of games properly representing the Netflix IP in terms of tone and creativity.

Another listing, for a senior game engineer, shares that “Netflix is ​​building a new in-house game studio to incubate and create a new class of hilarious, social video games.”

Gaming is still new territory for Netflix, and the company is trying to give people more value for their subscription, said Mike Proulx, vice president, research director at Forrester, adding that the streamer’s strategy makes sense when ‘she can link games to popular shows as a way to keep users engaged between seasons.

But there’s a lot of competition in mobile games and to grab consumer attention, Proulx added, and the question remains open “how much they need to push their strategy.”

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