Netflix Vice President of Game Development Mike Verdu has announced the streaming service’s intention to acquire Finnish studio Next Games for €65 million. They will close the deal in the second quarter of the year.
Next Games was founded in 2013 and is led by Teemu Huuhtanen. In 2020, the studio earned €27.2 million, 95% of which came from in-game purchases.
During its existence, Next Games has managed to release such mobile entertainment as Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales, The Walking Dead: Our World and The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land.
“Even though we are just starting our gaming journey, I am confident that together with Next Games we will build a library of first-class games – without ads and microtransactions – that will delight our users around the world,” Verdu shared.
The acquisition of Next Games isn’t Netflix‘s first move into games. Previously, the streaming giant bought Night School Studio (Oxenfree, Afterparty) and gave its subscribers access to a selection of mobile projects.
Netflix is testing a TikTok-style platform on TVs with clips from movies and TV shows
Netflix has begun testing the Fast Laughs feature on smart TV apps. In fact, this is a TikTok-style platform with a selection of short funny videos from 30 seconds long from movies and series on the platform that will help viewers choose what to watch.
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The feature is available to a limited number of users in “select English-speaking countries”; including the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The Fast Laughs section is available at the bottom of the main page of the service. By opening the selection, you can watch excerpts from popular films and series of the platform; such as “Army of the Dead”, “Big Mouth”, performances by comedian Jerry Seinfeld, and much more. Navigation through the videos is done by arrows on the left and right sides of the screen; it is possible to add a movie or series to the watch list or immediately open its page.
Fast Laughs collections are created not by viewers, but by the Netflix administration, and the platform’s recommendation algorithms do not work here – videos are displayed regardless of user preferences. In a sense, this is even good, because you can discover something really unexpected and new. The function is available only to adult users of the platform; and a warning is displayed before the collection is launched.
Recall that a little less than a year ago, Fast Laughs collections appeared in the Netflix mobile application; where they are even more similar to TikTok with vertical videos. You can “like” videos on your phone by clicking on the “LOL” button, or share them with friends.