Netflix Just Acquired the Award-Winning Studio Behind Oxenfree
Netflix big foray into games is now underway in earnest, and one of its first major acquisitions is a darling from the indie space. In a blog post on its official site, Night School Studio announced it would be bringing its adventure game expertise to the streaming service.
“Night School wants to stretch our narrative and design aspirations across distinctive, original games with heart,” Night School co-founder Sean Krankel wrote. “Netflix gives film, TV, and now game makers an unprecedented canvas to create and deliver excellent entertainment to millions of people. Our explorations in narrative gameplay and Netflix’s track record of supporting diverse storytellers was such a natural pairing. It felt like both teams came to this conclusion instinctively.”
It’s a natural fit. Night School Studio found fame with games like Oxenfree and Afterparty — story-driven adventures that mesh well with Netflix’s approach. Oxenfree is likewise a supernatural coming-of-age story, which is exactly the kind of story that is apt to play with Netflix’s audience.
Netflix first announced it would be getting into gaming over the summer, tapping former video game executive Mike Verdu to become its new vice president of game development. Its early efforts have mainly consisted of more casual mobile games such as Shooting Hoops, Teeter Up, and Card Blast, which can be accessed via the “Games” tab in the Netflix app on Android devices. The service is currently available to Netflix subscribers in Spain, Italy, and Poland.
Netflix is mainly experimenting with what works right now, which evidently includes the decision to acquire Night School Studio.
For now, Night School says work will continue on Oxenfree 2, which was announced earlier this year. “The Netflix team has shown the utmost care for protecting our studio culture and creative vision. We’ll keep making [Oxenfree 2]. We’ll keep cooking up new game worlds,” Krankel wrote.
Oxenfree 2 is set to release later this year on Nintendo Switch and PC. Meanwhile, the original Oxenfree is still receiving updates tied to the sequel. You can read our full review here.
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