Netflix levels up in gaming with new Helsinki studio

27 Sep 2022

Image: © miglagoa/

The Helsinki games studio is the first that Netflix will build from scratch in a city that is ‘home to some of the best game talent in the world’.

Netflix will establish a second games studio in Helsinki with former Zynga executive Marko Lastikka as director.

This is the first studio the streaming giant will build from scratch. In March, it acquired Helsinki-based Next Games for €65m, bringing mobile games based on well-known franchises such as The Walking Dead and Stranger Things under Netflix’s ambit.

Amir Rahimi, VP of Netflix’s Game Studios, said that the latest move marks “another step in our vision to build a world-class games studio that will bring a variety of delightful and deeply engaging original games” to hundreds of millions of global subscribers.

He added that the decision to build the internal studio in Helsinki was because it is “home to some of the best game talent in the world”.

Netflix now has four game studios in total. It previously also acquired US-based Night School Studio, which was behind mystery adventure game Oxenfree, as well as Boss Fight Entertainment.

“These four studios, each with different strengths and focus areas, will develop games that will suit the diverse tastes of our members,” Rahimi said.

Lastikka, who joins Netflix as studio director in Helsinki, previously worked in the city as VP and general manager of Zynga. Prior to that, he held executive roles in Electronic Arts and Digital Chocolate.

Netflix confirmed its plans to expand into gaming after much speculation last summer. At the time, the company said its strategy would build on earlier efforts around interactivity and the Stranger Things games.

Stranger Things: 1984 and Stranger Things 3, developed by BonusXP, were the first games made available to download via the Netflix app when it began a limited launch of its gaming service last year for Android users in Poland.

Now, the streaming giant has started releasing more games on its platform, including Oxenfree, Desta: The Memories Between and SpongeBob SquarePants: Get Cooking.

“It’s still early days, and we have much more work to do to deliver a great games experience on Netflix,” Rahimi added.

“Creating a game can take years, so I’m proud to see how we’re steadily building the foundation of our games studios in our first year and look forward to sharing what we produce in the coming years.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic