Netflix is creating its first in-house videogames studio in a push to be less reliable on third-party creators and expand its gaming offerings.
The new studio will be based in Helsinki and headed by Marko Lastikka, according to a statement from Netflix on Monday. Lastikka previously spent more than five years at Zynga, where he worked on FarmVille 3, and before that was the co-founder and executive producer at Electronic Arts’ Tracktwenty studio in Helsinki, according to his LinkedIn page.
“This is another step in our vision to build a world-class games studio that will bring a variety of delightful and deeply engaging original games — with no ads and no in-app purchases — to our hundreds of millions of members around the world,” Amir Rahimi, vice president of game studios at Neflix, said in the statement.
The new games studio will be Netflix’s fourth overall, after the company acquired another Helsinki-based studio, Next Games, and Boss Fight Entertainment, earlier this year. Netflix brought on Night School Studio in September 2021.
Netflix currently has 31 mobile games in its catalogue, which are free of ads and in-app purchases but only available to subscribers. The company plans to have 50 games available by the end of the year. That includes the Next Games-developed Stranger Things: Puzzle Games, which is based on the platform’s hit show and will soon be exclusive to Netflix.