Saara Bergström will take over as head of Netflix Game Studio, while Teemu Huuhtanen will leave the company.
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Next Games – the studio of Netflix Game, will have a new CEO and head of the studio Teemu Huuhtanen announced on Linkedin that he is leaving the company, relinquishing his role to build new businesses.
“After a decade at the helm of Next Games, I have decided to step down as director at Next games to take on new ventures,” Huuhtanen wrote. “Saara Bergström, who has been a member of our leadership team since 2014, will take my place to lead the studio starting today. Having worked with Saara for over 10 years, I know she is a wonderful, highly respected colleague and I am proud to see her continue to lead Next Games. I would like to thank the management of Netflix and Next Games for taking time for themselves and allowing me to work here.”
Next Games was founded in 2014 and has since created games based on multiple IPs, such as The Walking Dead and Blade Runner 2049. In 2019, the company partnered with Netflix on Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales , based on the hit Netflix original series. The success of this game, coupled with the already strong strength of Next Games, led to the game studio’s acquisition of the game developer in 2022.
Saara Bergström has taken on the role of studio director. Bergström joined the company in 2014 as CMO before taking over as COO in September 2022. On Linkedin, Bergström wrote: “After becoming part of Netflix almost a year ago, we have the opportunity to focus on game development, always trust the senior leadership, express creativity stronger than ever. I am truly grateful to Teemu for his leadership in Next Games’ journey from a startup to Finland’s first publicly listed mobile game company, to eventually being acquired by Netflix. Over the years, his personal support for me and the leadership team has remained steadfast.”
Although Bergström has taken up his new position as an executive, the handover will need to take place until the summer. This will give Huuhtanen plenty of time to ensure a smooth transition and plan his next move. Netflix is one of the top 50 mobile game manufacturers in 2022 according to the announcement.