Video game

Netflix buys Boss Fight Entertainment as it expands gaming business

Netflix said Thursday it is buying Boss Fight Entertainment, a small independent video game studio based in Allen, Texas, as the video streaming company pushes deeper into the lucrative video game market.

The acquisition of Boss Fight, a mobile games developer with 130 employees, is Netflix’s third studio purchase since it set its sights on the games industry last summer. The company bought a studio called Night School in September and this month it bought Next Games. Netflix wouldn’t say how much it paid for Boss Fight.

Netflix has far fewer development studios than companies like Microsoft and Sony, which produce gaming consoles and blockbuster titles like Halo and Spider-Man. And its acquisitions are narrower in scope.

But the deals underscore Netflix’s emerging strategy of catching up with competitors. Even Google and Amazon, also big tech companies trying to break into the gaming world, have a leg up on Netflix.

Mike Verdu, who came to lead Netflix’s gaming push after working at Facebook and Electronic Arts, said Netflix intended to set itself apart by using the brand appeal of its shows, which could be turned into games. A game based on a Netflix hit might appeal to gamers purely through name recognition, even though Netflix doesn’t yet have a reputation for making popular game titles.

Netflix executives believe the company can offer a link between its popular streaming shows and related games “and the stories they love between seasons of a show or between movies,” Verdu said in a statement. interview. He said Netflix would create new original games eventually, rather than relying solely on buying games made by outside studios.

Other big tech companies had early failures in gaming. Amazon’s early game offerings were widely criticized and Google, after rosy promises, backed out of designing its own games last year.

Mr. Verdu said Netflix’s expansion would be slow and cautious. He likened it to the struggles of the business before eventually finding breakthrough TV series in the streaming industry like “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black.”

“It took the company a while to get to the point,” he said, where “these original shows just broke through and you saw the promise of original content and the promise of live streaming. continue to come together at this magical moment”.