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Netflix hires former Zynga Helsinki general manager to lead new internal game studio

The studio is based in Helsinki and has been tasked with creating "engaging original games."

Netflix has formed a new internal games studio in Helsinki, Finland, to create "delightful and deeply engaging original games."

Notably, the nascent opening will be led by former Zynga Helsinki general manager Marko Lastikka, who'll serve as studio director.

Lastikka has plenty of leadership experience, having spent over five years at Zynga Helsinki -- a studio he also co-founded -- while also previously serving as general manager and executive producer at EA Helsinki.

Netflix said it chose to expand its presence in Helsinki so it can tap into local talent. The company already has one studio in the region, having purchased Finnish developer Next Games for $72 million earlier this year.

"This is another step in our vision to build a world-class games studio that will bring a 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," said Netflix in a blog post

"It’s still early days, and we have much more work to do to deliver a great games experience on Netflix. Creating a game can take years, so I’m proud to see how we’re steadily building the foundation of our games studios in our first year, and look forward to sharing what we produce in the coming years."

Netflix now has four development studios creating games under its banner, with its new Helsinki studio joining Next Games, Night School Studio, and Boss Fight Entertainment.

As it continues to bolster its development capabilities, Netflix has also been expanding its Netflix Games platform -- which launched in November 2021 -- by adding third-party releases and exclusives such as Poinpy, Before Your Eyes, and Into the Breach.

Netflix hopes to increase the Netflix Games catalog, which is accessible on mobile platforms, to around 50 titles by the end of 2022.

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