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Next Games, A Netflix Game Studio announces changes in leadership team

Saara Bergström will assume the role of studio lead, while Teemu Huuhtanen will be leaving the company
Next Games, A Netflix Game Studio announces changes in leadership team

Next Games, A Netlfix Game Studio CEO and studio lead Teemu Huuhtanen has announced on Linkedin that he is departing from his role in order to explore new ventures.

“After a decade of leading Next Games, I’ve decided to step down as the studio head to explore new ventures,” wrote Huuhtanen. “Saara Bergström, who has been a part of our leadership team alongside me since 2014, will be taking my place to lead the studio starting today. Having worked with Saara for more than 10 years, I know she’s an amazing, highly-respected colleague and I’m proud to see her continue leading Next Games.

“I want to thank Netflix and Next Games leadership for the time for the handover which will continue until summer.”

Next Games was founded in 2014, and since then has created games based on numerous IPs, such as The Walking Dead and Blade Runner 2049. In 2019, the company partnered with Netflix on Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales, based on Netflix’s hit original series. The success of this game, coupled with Next Games' established strength, led to the streaming giant acquiring the game developer in 2022.

Next moves

Saara Bergström has assumed the role of studio director. Bergström joined the company in 2014, acting as CMO, before taking the position of COO in September 2022.

On Linkedin, Bergström wrote: “Having become a part of Netflix almost a year ago, we have a unique and rare opportunity to focus even more relentlessly on what we have always believed in: an unwavering focus on fans and fearless creativity. We could not be set up any better. We have a fantastic leadership team in place and a studio filled with stunning colleagues.

“I am truly thankful for Teemu for his leadership along Next Games’ journey from a startup to Finland’s first publicly listed mobile game company, to eventually being acquired by Netflix. Throughout, his personal support for me and the leadership team has always been steadfast.”

Although Bergström has already assumed her new position, the handover isn’t due to be completed in the summer, which will give Huuhtanen ample time to ensure a smooth transition and to plan his next move.

We listed Netflix as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.