Netflix announces plans to acquire Finland-based mobile games developer Next Games for $72 million. This is Netflix’s second games-related acquisition after the streaming platform bought Night School Studio, a game developing studio known for “Oxenfree”, a supernatural mystery adventure title. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022.
All Next Games issued and outstanding shares will be bought by Netflix under the terms of the agreement, and Next Games shareholders will receive 2.10 Euros per share in cash, more than double of the company’s price as of 1st March 2022, as a part of the tender offer. Next Games board of directors has unanimously agreed to advise shareholders to accept the offer. The acquisition comes following Microsoft’s plan to buy Activision Blizzard. It comes at a time when Big Tech companies like Apple, Facebook-owner Meta, and Microsoft expand their investments into video games, hence extending Silicon Valley’s push into the sector.
“Next Games has an experienced management team with a strong track record in mobile gaming and strong operational capabilities,” said Michael Verdu, Vice President of gaming at Netflix. “We are delighted to have Next Games join Netflix as a strategic regional and key player A core studio for the talent market, expanding the capabilities of our in-house game studio. While our games are just getting started, I believe that together with Next Games, we will be able to build a world-class portfolio of games that will delight our members around the world.”
Netflix is an OTT (Over-the-top) service provider based in the US, offering internet video on demand in various countries around the world. The company also provides a single-rate DVD rental service which functions on a mail-in basis in the United States, sending DVDs and Blue-ray rental discs to customers through return envelopes.
Founded in 2013, Next Games is known for creating mobile games based on Netflix’s hit shows, the most well-known of which is “Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales”, a story-driven RPG (role-playing game). At the end of 2021, the company had recorded sales of €27.2 million in 2020, with 95 percent of income coming from in-game purchases.
Teemu Huuhtanen, CEO of Next Games, said, “Joining forces with Netflix, the world’s largest streaming service, is a logical and exciting extension of our plan to create interactive experiences for the globe to enjoy. Our close collaboration on Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales with Netflix has already demonstrated that we make a powerful team. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve the studio on all fronts and continue on our shared mission.”