Video streaming behemoth Netflix has offered to buy publicly listed Finnish Next Games, reported Reuters. The merger would greatly deepen the companies’ existing relationship, with Next Games already developing and publishing mobile games based on Netflix properties.
“We are excited for Next Games to join Netflix as a core studio in a strategic region and key talent market, expanding our internal game studio capabilities,” said Netflix’s Vice President of games Michael Verdu.
After entering the mobile gaming market last November, the streaming giant is now planning to invest 65 million euros ($72.08 million) in Next Games, an offer recommended by the mobile game company’s board of directors, the statement read.
The deal is part of Netflix’s bigger strategy to build out its gaming content as a complement to its video catalog, and Next Games is a perfect fit. The free-to-play mobile games publisher already has developed titles related to some of Netflix’s biggest draws, such as “Stranger Things” and “The Walking Dead” — meaning the two companies already had a strong relationship. This deal will cement that relationship, and improve Netflix’s margins beyond simply licensing the brands by bringing Next Games’ IP, talent and existing business selling in-app purchases in-house.
Teemu Huuhtanen, who founded Next Games in 2013 and is its CEO, is an alum of Finland’s extensive gaming ecosystem, which has played a big role in breaking new ground in gaming over the years, with the country’s extensive gaming community helping it be named Most Innovative Country in 2020.
Before joining Next Games, Huuhtanen held an executive post as VP of Mergers & Acquisitions with rival gaming studio Rovio, publisher of the highly successful Angry Birds gaming franchise that has spawned various media products, including animated motion pictures and TV series.
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