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Netflix to acquire Finnish mobile game developer Next Games for $72 million

The streaming giant has announced that it has entered into a combination agreement to acquire Next Games

Netflix has announced that they are going ahead with a deal to acquire the Finnish mobile game developer Next Games. Under the terms of the agreement, Netflix will commence a tender offer process to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Next Games.

Pursuant to the offer, Next Games shareholders would receive $2.33 (EUR 2.10) in cash per share of Next Games, for a total value of approximately $72 million (EUR 65 million). The Board of Directors of Next Games has unanimously decided to recommend that the shareholders accept the tender offer.

Michael Verdu, Vice President of Games, Netflix said in a statement, “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. While we’re just getting started in games, I am confident that together with Next Games we will be able to build a portfolio of world-class games that will delight our members around the world.”

Last year Netflix acquired Night School Studio, the developers of the popular game Oxenfree. The acquisition of Next Games shows that Netflix is giving it all to make games accessible by the same way in which they are distributing live-action entertainment across the globe.

Who are Next Games

The indie studio was founded in 2013 and led by Teemu Huuhtanen with headquarters in Helsinki Finland. Next Games creates and operates engaging mobile games with an authentic and social fan experience at the heart. The company’s strategy is to develop games on popular entertainment IP with fans across the globe, including Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales, a story-driven puzzle role-playing game (RPG) inspired by one of Netflix’s most watched series.

Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales soft launch
Image via Next Games

They were also the developer and publisher behind the critically acclaimed mobile game The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land. The company had approximately 120 employees at the end of 2021 and reported sales of approximately $30.1 million (EUR 27.2 million) in 2020, with 95% of revenues generated from in-game purchases in 2020. They also have two subsidiary companies named Lume Games Oy and Helsinki GameWorks Oy. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions.

Teemu Huuhtanen, Chief Executive Officer, Next Games said, “We have had an unwavering focus to execute on our vision: to become the partner of choice for global entertainment businesses and craft authentic and long-lasting interactive entertainment based on the world’s most beloved franchises,”.

What Netflix’s acquistion of Next Games mean to the mobile games industry

The acquisition of Next Games shows that the mobile games industry is something in which all the big tech companies want to play their hands. As digital technology continues to grow and mobile phones become more powerful it’s a platform that shows the most potential for affordable gaming. It is driving us towards a future where gaming can be truly democratised.

Netflix headquaters, netflix head office
Image via NYTimes

These recent acquisitions are also going to bolster indie game developers in a huge way where after working relentlessly they sometimes fail to release their games. Netflix with all its resources and might can offer them the quickest and easiest way to make their games available globally.

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