Netflix Acquires Night School Developer of Oxenfree to Explore its Gaming Model
Today, Night School Studio, an independent game developer, announced that it has been acquired by Netflix. This is the first acquisition of a gaming studio by the streaming giant.
In the announcement of the acquisition, Mike Verdu, VP of game development, wrote Night School’s “commitment to artistic excellence and proven track record make them invaluable partners as we build out the creative capabilities and library of Netflix games together.”
Adding their plans to add “exclusive games designed for every kind of gamer and any level of play” on Netflix which will be included with its membership, and will have no ads or extra in-app purchases.
Night School Studio was founded by Sean Krankel, a former Disney game designer, and Adam Hines, former Telltale lead writer, in 2014.
In a statement, 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.”
Krankel reassured fans of Oxenfree and other Night School titles that they will keep working on Oxenfree II and “cooking up new game worlds.”
“The Netflix team has shown the utmost care for protecting our studio culture and creative vision,” he wrote.
News of the acquisition comes just a day after Netflix launched three new casual mobile games in Poland, Italy and Spain.
In Netflix’s second-quarter shareholder letter, the company declared itself in the early stages of exploring its gaming model, and views gaming as another content category, quite similar to its original films and reality TV shows.
Before working on mobile games, four years ago, Netflix ventured into interactive storytelling with the launch of choose-your-own-adventure children’s shows.
Next year, the company took the format to its adult viewers with Black Mirror’s “Bandersnatch” episode. Since then, they have added more interactive children’s shows like Emily’s Wonder Lab and Minecraft: Story Mode.