Netflix snaps up Walking Dead publisher Next Games for £54m

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Wednesday 02 March 2022 12:44

Netflix has sports documentaries, but not the live streaming rights (via Getty Images)

Netflix becomes the latest tech company to pivot into the gaming world, with the streaming giant announcing its acquisition of Finnish company Next Games in a €65m (£54m) deal.

Founded in 2013 and led by Teemu Huuhtanen, Next Games creates and operates engaging mobile games, with the company’s key strategy being to develop games based on popular entertainment IP, such as Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales, a game story-based role-playing. (RPG) inspired by one of Netflix’s most watched series.

The company had approximately 120 employees at the end of 2021 and had revenue of approximately €27.2 million in 2020, with 95% of revenue generated from in-game purchases.

“Next Games has a seasoned management team, strong experience in mobile games based on entertainment franchises and strong operational capabilities,” said Michael Verdu, vice president of games, Netflix.

“We are thrilled to have Next Games join Netflix as a lead studio in a strategic region and key talent market, expanding our in-house game studio capabilities. While we’re just getting started in games, I’m confident that with Next Games, we’ll be able to build a world-class game portfolio that will delight our members around the world.

“We have been relentlessly focused on delivering on our vision to become the partner of choice for global entertainment companies and create authentic and enduring interactive entertainment based on the world’s most beloved franchises,” said Teemu Huuhtanen, President- CEO of Next Games.

“Playing to our strengths with the world’s largest streaming service, Netflix, provides an opportunity for a logical and exciting continuation of our strategy to create interactive experiences for the world to enjoy.”

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, and comes as more streaming and tech giants pivot to gaming.

Microsoft broke records earlier this year with its massive $75 billion purchase of Call of Duty maker Activision Blizzard, while Apple launched mobile game subscription service Arcade for iOS phones and Android users. ‘iPad.

Plus, Netflix is ​​no doubt trying to keep rivals like Disney+ at bay as the market becomes increasingly saturated.

While the Silicon Valley giant hasn’t made many acquisitions over the years, it recently bought two interactive content creators for young audiences, an animated comics publisher, as well as the Roald Dahl estate.

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