Netflix Acquires Mobile Game Developer Boss Fight Entertainment
Netflix on Thursday announced its acquisition of Boss Fight Entertainment, a small independent video game development studio based out of Allen, Texas, in what will be the streamer’s third purchase of a game developer since its plans to expand into the video game industry were revealed last summer — reports The New York Times.
Boss Fight is a small, indie development studio with 130 employees that focuses mainly on mobile games. Netflix did not say how much the acquisition cost.
Previously, Netflix bought Night School Studio, the developer behind critical darling Oxenfree, for an undisclosed amount of money in September of last year, and Finland’s Next Games for $94 million CAD earlier this month. Boss Fight Entertainment is Netflix’s second game development studio purchase just this month.
Gaming is a new frontier for Netflix. The company can’t compete with gaming industry giants like Microsoft and Sony and their armies of development studios at this point in time, and other tech companies like Amazon and Google already have a headstart over the streamer to boot.
Mike Verdu, who was brought on to lead Netflix’s gaming push after working at Facebook and veteran games developer Electronic Arts, said Netflix intended to distinguish itself from the competition by leveraging the brand appeal of its shows, which could be turned into games.
Netflix’s strategy to break into the video game space is pretty simple — a title based on a Netflix hit could interest gamers through name recognition alone, despite Netflix not having much experience with making games. The streamer has already published a couple of games based on the hit series Stranger Things.
Netflix executives believe the company can offer a strong value proposition to users with a connection between its popular streaming shows and related games “and stories that they love in between seasons of a show or in between movies,” Mr. Verdu said in an interview. What’s more, Netflix makes games available to subscribers at no additional cost.
Verdu said Netflix would eventually create new, original games, rather than rely solely on buying games made by outside studios. This is where the company’s studio acquisitions come in.
Verdu added that Netflix would take this expansion slowly and carefully, comparing it to the streamer’s struggles before eventually finding breakthrough television series like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.
“It took a while for the company to reach the point,” he said, where “these original shows just broke through and you saw the promise of original content and the promise of streaming come together in this magic moment.”
Netflix launched its library of games on Android in November 2021, with the functionality rolling out to iOS a week later.