Netflix has posted more than a dozen job vacancies for Netflix Games Studio’s Los Angeles office on its website, spotted by Mobilegamer.biz. These listings give us some clues as to 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, Netflix’s VP of gaming, Mike Verdu, originally announced on TechCrunch Disrupt that his company would be opening a new studio in Southern California. Verdu also said that Chacko Sonny would run 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 California sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit and an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was also responsible for the development of Overwatch 2.
And now it looks like Netflix is assembling the core team for Netflix Games Studio’s first project in Los Angeles. The Game Director will be responsible for a AAA PC game. That would 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 big games with very big budgets and development teams. The game director will be responsible for developing the “world/characters/narratives worthy of a Netflix movie/TV series.” The job posting also mentions experience with Unreal Engine and first person and/or third person shooter games.
It seems like there aren’t many people working for the studio just yet, as Netflix is also looking for an art director and a technical director. There are also vacancies for Lead Artists and Lead Engineers.
Netflix views 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 currently offers 40 different games. There are spin-off games based on popular Netflix shows like Stranger Things, classic mobile games like walking and racing games, card games, and original titles.
Netflix acquired three existing game studios – Boss Fight Entertainment, Night School Studio (Oxenfree) and Finland’s Next Games. It has also opened a new studio in Helsinki, Finland, with a former Zynga GM 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 any game in the Netflix game library. If you cancel your Netflix subscription, you will no longer be able to access these games.
There are no in-app purchases, season passes, or add-on subscriptions in these games. Of course, Netflix could change its gaming revenue strategy with its new AAA game. But it’s clear that Netflix is in investment mode for now.