Netflix Buys Seattle-Based Children’s Game Studio Spry Fox

Netflix continues to build-out its games portfolio, adding a sixth gaming studio, the Seattle-based Spry Fox. Founded in 2010 by Daniel Cook and David Edery, Spry Fox focuses on children’s games, with titles including “Alphabear,” “Triple Town” and “Cozy Grove.” Netflix VP of games studios Amir Rahimi says the new purchase will help accelerate Netflix in a popular genre known as “cozy games.” The announcement comes weeks after Netflix VP of gaming Mike Verdu made public that the company plans to open a new games operation in Southern California and is considering a move into cloud gaming.

“Our games journey has only just begun, but I’m proud of the foundational work we’ve been doing to build out our in-house creative capacity so that we can deliver the best possible games experience — including no ads and no in-app purchases — to our members as part of their membership,” Rahimi wrote in a blog post.

In its own blog entry, Spry Fox said it is “a studio that builds original, world-class cozy games” and “Netflix is going to help us do that.”

Spry Fox joins previous acquisitions Boss Fight Entertainment, Next Games and Night School Studio, each catering to a different audience. In September, Netflix said it hired Zynga Helsinki game studio general manager Marko Lastikka to run a new outfit it had established in Finland.

Last month, Variety reported that Netflix has plans to launch a new Southern California studio “built around Chacko Sonny, the former Activision Blizzard executive producer behind ‘Overwatch’ who previously oversaw development of ‘God of War’ at Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Santa Monica Studio.”

The Variety article also says Netflix is “‘seriously exploring’ a cloud gaming offering to be able to extend its catalog of games to be playable on TVs and PCs.”

TechCrunch contextualizes Netflix’s gaming foray, writing that it’s “still early days for its mobile gaming efforts, and new games can take years to build, which indicates that its long-term vision for mobile gaming goes far beyond the more casual gaming releases it has made available to subscribers since launching Netflix Games in November 2021.”

Netflix, TechCrunch writes, “still has to convince its subscribers that it’s a real player in the world of gaming,” citing Apptopia data that found “Netflix games were only averaging 1.7 million daily users and its total catalog had seen just 23.3 million downloads as of August, despite Netflix’s overall subscriber base then having 221 million members.”

Netflix currently offers subscribers a choice of 35 games and has 14 more in development at in-house studios, according to TechCrunch, which quotes Verdu as saying the company has “55 games ‘in flight’ at present.”

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