Netflix has posted more than a dozen job openings on its website for the Los Angeles office of Netflix Games Studio, as spotted by Mobilegamer.biz. These listings give us some clues about the company’s plans for the new studio. In particular, Netflix is hiring a game director to work on “a brand new AAA PC game.”
Last month at TechCrunch Disrupt, Netflix VP of Games Mike Verdu originally announced that his company was 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, as the company faced a lawsuit in California for sexual harassment and discrimination as well as an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was also in charge of the development of Overwatch 2.
And now it looks like Netflix wants to build the core team for the initial project from Netflix Games Studio in Los Angeles. The Game Director will be in charge of a AAA PC game. It 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 major games with very large budgets and development teams. The game’s director will be in charge of developing “the universe/characters/narrative worthy of a Netflix movie/series”. The job posting also mentions experience with Unreal Engine as well as first-person and/or third-person shooters.
It looks like there aren’t many people working for the studio yet, as Netflix is also looking for an Art Director and Technical Director. There are also job openings for lead artists and lead engineers.
Netflix sees the game as a long-term project. At TechCrunch Disrupt, Mike Verdu said 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 running 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. He also opened a new studio in Helsinki, Finland, with a former Zynga CEO at the helm.
Currently, Netflix’s business model for games is quite simple. If you are a Netflix subscriber, you can download and play all games from the Netflix game library. If you stop your Netflix subscription, you will no longer be able to access these games.
There are no in-app purchases, season passes, or additional subscriptions in these games. Of course, Netflix might change its gaming revenue strategy with its new AAA game. But clearly Netflix is in investment mode at the moment.