Netflix’s ongoing grasp for a chunk of the video game pie continues with the streaming service’s announcement it has now snapped up Spry Fox, the studio behind the likes of Triple Town, Alphabear, and last year’s Cozy Grove.
Netflix shared the news – which comes just shy of a year since the streaming service took its first tentative steps into gaming – on its website, saying Spry Fox’s focus on “cosy, original” games would help it “accelerate our creative development in another beloved genre and add to the growing variety of Netflix’s games catalogue that will have something for everyone.”
It’s unclear what today’s news means for Spry Fox’s previously announced publishing partnership with Epic Games, which was intended to result in a “multiplatform nonviolent persistent” MMO “designed to encourage friendship and reduce loneliness in the world”.
Spry Fox’s acquisition means Netflix now owns six studios: Oxenfree developer Night School Studio, Boss Fight Entertainment, Next Games, a new Helsinki team, and a new studio in Southern California, lead by former Overwatch executive producer Chacko Sonny.
To date, Netflix’s gaming venture has been limited to mobile titles, with the streaming service currently including access to around 35, predominantly casual, iOS and Android games as part of a standard subscription. However, a report in August claimed less than 1% of Netflix subscribers play its games daily, suggesting it may be some considerable time until games are viewed as a core part of Netflix’s business.
Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported Netflix’s ultimate goal was to “build out a games business that can create synergy between what people watch and what they’re playing” – a plan that would see it adapting its shows into games, as well as putting its name on more third-party titles, just as it did with last year’s Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story.
That same report claimed Netflix was also looking beyond mobile for “content opportunities around video games from every direction”. These opportunities may well include a cloud gaming service, Netflix’s vice president of gaming Mike Verdu revealed earlier this month.