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Netflix buys Boss Fight in latest gaming acquisition

Mar 25, 2022
Illustration of an 8-bit video game screen with a Netflix logo.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Netflix is buying Boss Fight Entertainment, a Texas-based independent gaming developer.

Why it matters: This is Netflix's third gaming acquisition since it made its ambitions in this space public.

  • Before getting into gaming, Netflix had not made many significant acquisitions. So far, its gaming purchases have been on the small scale.
  • Boss Fight only has one game listed on its website, "Dungeon Boss," but its founders had previously developed hits like "Age of Empires," "Star Wars: The Old Republic," "Halo Wars" and "CastleVille."

Catch up quick: Netflix isn't playing around when it comes to gaming's growing importance to the streaming giant's future.

  • Last July, Netflix signed a new overall deal with Shonda Rhimes that included gaming and virtual reality content.
  • Later that month, Netflix hired Mike Verdu, a former Facebook and Electronic Arts executive, to head up its gaming division.
  • Netflix bought Night School, which is behind the popular "Oxenfree" franchise, in September. Earlier this month, the streamer acquired Next Games, a Finnish mobile game developer that has already produced a "Stranger Things"-inspired game and two others based on AMC's "Walking Dead" franchise.
  • Netflix debuted its first batch of games in November and has put out 16 titles so far, all on mobile.

The big picture: With more competition than ever before on the streaming front, Netflix is betting that adding games at no extra cost to subscribers will keep them on the service in between seasons of their favorite shows.

What's next: In April, Netflix will launch its first first-person shooter game, "Into the Dead 2: Unleashed."

What they're saying: "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," Amir Rahimi, VP of game studios, said in a blog post announcing the deal.

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