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Netflix buys independent game developer Boss Fight in latest gaming acquisition

·3 min read

Netflix has acquired Texas-based independent game developer Boss Fight Entertainment, the company announced in a blog post. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal, which marks Netflix's third acquisition of a gaming company, is part of the streaming service's ongoing push toward gaming.

Boss Fight was founded in 2013 by former Zynga Dallas and Ensemble Studios employees. Netflix says the studio's experience with building games across genres will help accelerate its ability to provide Netflix users with more titles. The Boss Fight team will continue to operate out of their current studios in Dallas, Austin and Seattle.

“Boss Fight’s mission is to bring simple, beautiful, and fun game experiences to our players wherever they want to play,” said Boss Fight Entertainment founders David Rippy, Bill Jackson and Scott Winsett, in a statement. “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.”

Earlier this month, Netflix announced that it was acquiring Finland’s Next Games, a developer of mobile games, for a total value of €65 million ($72 million). The free-to-play mobile games publisher already has developed titles related to some of Netflix’s biggest draws, such as “Stranger Things” and “The Walking Dead.” The deal is expected to close in Q2 2022.

Last September, Netflix acquired Night School Studio, the independent game developer known for narrative-driven titles like "Oxenfree." The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Night School executives had said that the studio would continue to work on Oxenfree II and other Night School titles.

The acquisitions are part of Netflix’s bigger strategy to build out its gaming content to complement its video catalog.

"We're still in the early days of building great game experiences as part of your Netflix membership," Amir Rahimi, the vice president of game studios at Netflix, said in a statement. "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."

Netflix has been building out its gaming service since late last year, when the company debuted its initial lineup that included a couple of “Stranger Things”-themed titles and other casual games.

Since then, Netflix has rolled out several other titles, including “Arcanium: Rise of Akhan,” “Asphalt Xtreme,” “Bowling Ballers,” “Card Blast,” “Dominoes Café, “Dungeon Dwarves,” “Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story,” “Knittens,” “Krispee Street,” “Shooting Hoops,” “Teeter (Up)” and “Wonderputt Forever.” Earlier this week, the company expanded its lineup with two games called "Shatter Remastered" and "This Is A True Story." Netflix also teased its first upcoming first-person shooter title called “Into the Dead 2: Unleashed.”

The company explained to investors during its Q4 earnings call that these initial gaming launches are more about setting up Netflix to better understand what consumers want from the new service. Netflix has yet to detail how well its games are performing, only saying that it has a “growing number” of both daily active and monthly active users on its gaming titles. Netflix has also hinted that it’s open to licensing larger game IP that people will recognize in the future.

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