Netflix is betting big on mobile games with the acquisition of game developer Boss Fight Entertainment, a small, independent video game studio and the creator of Dungeon Boss. The company was founded in 2013, and the Boss Fight team has worked on well-known titles including Age of Empires Star Wars: The Old Republic, Halo Wars, CastleVille, and others. Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, Netflix said the Boss Fight Entertainment team would continue to work from their current studios in Allen and Austin, Texas and Seattle, Washington.
“Boss Fight’s mission is to bring simple, beautiful, and fun game experiences to our players wherever they want to play,” said the founders of Boss Fight Entertainment in the March 24, 2022 announcement. “Netflix’s commitment to offer ad-free games as part of members’ subscriptions enables game developers like us to focus on creating delightful game play without worrying about monetization. We couldn’t be more excited to join Netflix at this early stage as we continue doing what we love to do while helping to shape the future of games on Netflix together.”
“Delightful and deeply engaging original games”
In the announcement, Amir Rahimi, vice president of Game Studios for Netflix, reiterated the company’s commitment to Netflix subscribers with the relatively new addition of mobile games to their offerings.
“We’re still in the early days of building great game experiences as part of your Netflix membership. Through partnerships with developers around the world, hiring top talent, and acquisitions like this, we hope to build a world-class games studio capable of bringing a wide 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,” Rahimi said.
Mobile games strategy
Last spring, Netflix announced they would add mobile games to their content line-up. Like their streaming video content, the mobile games are ad-free, and there are no in-app purchases. Mobile games are included as part of Netflix’s membership without an extra fee. In November, that vision became a reality with the launch of five mobile games: Stranger Things: 1984; Stranger Things 3: The Game; Shooting Hoops; Card Blast and Teeter Up.
This is Netflix’s third gaming studio purchase since last summer. The first acquisition was in late September. Netflix bought Night School Studio, known for its storytelling in games like OXENFREE, OXENFREE II, Mr. Robot, Afterparty and Next Stop Nowhere. Earlier this month, Netflix purchased game developer Next Games for $72 million. These acquisitions will help the streaming giant expand their catalog of mobile games and grow their in-house gaming team.
Though Netflix is not likely to take the mobile gaming world by storm anytime soon, it is fun to watch the progress they’ve made in such a short time. In less than a year, they announced the new mobile games strategy, launched earlier than planned, and acquired three game developers. To grow this quickly, acquisition was the smart play. This is part of a larger business strategy to continue the growth of Netflix memberships by attracting new subscribers with a different type of content.
For casual gamers who already subscribe to Netflix, this makes the Netflix subscription “stickier” which could have a positive impact on retention. Netflix, the largest streaming subscription service in terms of subscribers, continues to grow but at a slower pace. This will happen to all the streaming services at some point, and Netflix has been diversifying revenue streams to support their growth and ongoing operations and ensure they are in it for the long haul. Mobile games is just one part of that strategy, but their recent acquisitions indicate they are fully committed.