Netflix introduced more than a dozen job postings on its website for the Netflix Games Studio office in Los Angeles, as spotted by Mobilegamer.biz. These announcements give us a few hints about the company’s plans for the new studio. Specifically, Netflix is hiring a game director to work on a “brand new AAA PC game.”
Last month at TechCrunch Disrupt, Netflix VP of Gaming Mike Verdu originally announced that his company was opening a new studio in Southern California. Verdu also said that Chacko Sonny will lead the studio. Sonny is the former executive producer of Overwatch.
Sonny left Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind Overwatch, while the company was dealing with a lawsuit in California alleging sexual harassment and discrimination, as well as an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was also responsible for the development of Overwatch 2.
And now it looks like Netflix wants to assemble the core team for the original Netflix Games Studio project in Los Angeles. The game director will be in charge of a AAA PC game. This will be the company’s first PC game, as Netflix currently only offers games for smartphones and tablets.
In the video game industry, AAA projects are large games with very large budgets and development teams. The game director will be responsible for developing a “world/characters/narrative worthy of a Netflix movie/TV series.” The job posting also mentions experience with the Unreal Engine, as well as first-person and/or third-person shooter games face.
It looks like there aren’t that many people working for the studio yet, as Netflix is also looking for an art director and a technical director. There are also job postings for lead artists and lead engineers.
Netflix sees gaming as a long-term project. At TechCrunch Disrupt, Mike Verdu said that Netflix is still in the very early stages of its gaming initiative.
The company at the moment offers 40 different games. There are individual games based on popular Netflix shows like Stranger Things, classic mobile games like runners and racing games, card games and original titles.
Netflix acquired three existing game studios — Boss Fight Entertainment, Evening school studio (Oxenfree) and Finland Next games. Also started a new studio in Helsinki, Finland with a former Zynga CEO at the helm.
Right now, Netflix’s business model for games is pretty simple. If you are a Netflix subscriber, you can download and play all the games in the Netflix game library. If you stop your Netflix subscription, you can no longer access these games.
There are no in-app purchases, season passes, or add-on subscriptions in these games. Of course, Netflix may change its game monetization strategy with its new AAA game. But it’s clear that Netflix is in investment mode for now.