Netflix is diversifying its internal development staff in addition to its reliance on external studios. In Helsinki, Finland, the streaming giant is setting up its own game studio with the goal of making "world-class" original games free of ads and in-app purchases. Marko Lastikka, formerly of Zynga and Electronic Arts, will be directing the games, though we don't yet have any information about the games themselves.
According to Netflix, Helsinki is home to some of the world's "best game talent." Next Games, creators of The Walking Dead mobile game, is among them (which Netflix bought in March). In the past, Netflix has acquired studios like Night School Studio, which developed Boss Fight and Oxenfree, but it has never created a studio from the ground up.
Netflix says it will be "years" before the company's own production studio releases any of its own work. Nonetheless, this and the company's recent acquisitions demonstrate how it is adapting its gaming strategy. For a while, Netflix relied on third-party games, even if it just meant slightly modified versions of existing titles. Now, however, the streaming service is increasingly committed to original content that can't be found anywhere else. It is possible that Netflix's game library will entice more people to sign up.