Netflix has agreed to acquire Helsinki-listed game developer Next Games for €65 million (about $72 million), as the streaming service expands further into a gaming market dominated by the likes of Microsoft and Sony

Founded in 2013, Next Games holds a portfolio of casual mobile games based on entertainment franchises, including Netflix's Stranger Things and AMC's The Walking Dead. Netflix has been offering games as part of its streaming service since November. 

There are just a handful of tech companies currently offering games via a subscription-based streaming service. The biggest game options include Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass and Sony's PlayStation Now. Google and Amazon also have their Stadia and Luna cloud gaming services, respectively; the latter launched this week.

The transaction is part of a broader trend of consolidation in the gaming industry whereby tech giants are buying game developers to add titles to their growing online game libraries. Netflix is not expected to compete directly with the likes of PlayStation and Xbox, which both focus on console gaming, but its growing stable of casual mobile games will help it secure its own slice of an expanding cloud gaming market. 

"While we're just getting started in games, I am confident that together with Next Games, we will be able to build a portfolio of world class games … that will delight our members around the world," Mike Verdu, vice president of games at Netflix, said in a statement

Next Games had around 120 employees by the end of 2021 and sales of about €27.2 million in 2020, with 95% of that coming from in-game purchases.

As part of the deal—which is awaiting shareholder approval—Netflix will make a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Next Games. Shareholders will receive €2.1 in cash per share of Next Games.

Featured image by NurPhoto/Getty Images

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