Night School Studio, the independent game developer known for storytelling titles like “Oxenfree,” today announced its acquisition by Netflix. This makes it the first game studio purchased by the streaming giant.
In the Netflix announcement, Mike Verdu, vice president of game development, wrote that “Night School’s commitment to artistic excellence and proven track record makes them invaluable partners as we develop creative abilities together. and the Netflix game library ”. He added that Netflix plans to add “exclusive games designed for all types of players and all levels of play” that will be included in its membership, and will not have any ads or in-app purchases.
Night School Studio was founded in 2014 by Sean Krankel, a former senior game designer at Disney Interactive, and Adam Hines, who was a senior editor at Telltale Games. (Telltale Games was a partner of Netflix, working on interactive shows like the “Minecraft: Storymode” adventure before closing).
In a statement posted to the Night School website, Krankel wrote, “Netflix offers film, television and now game makers an unprecedented web to create and deliver great entertainment to millions of people. Our explorations into narrative gameplay and Netflix’s track record of supporting various storytellers were such a natural pairing. “
For fans of Oxenfree and other Night School titles, Krankel reassured them that he would continue to work on Oxenfree II and “concoct new game worlds.”
“The Netflix team have been extremely careful to protect our studio culture and our creative vision,” he wrote.
The news of the acquisition comes less than a day after Netflix launched three new casual mobile games in Poland, Italy and Spain, a month after the release of two games linked to the ‘Stranger Things’ series.
In Netflix’s letter to shareholders in the second quarter, the company said it is in the early stages of exploring its gaming model and sees games as another category of content, like its original movies, animation. and its reality TV shows.
Prior to working on mobile games, Netflix first ventured into interactive storytelling four years ago, when it launched ‘choose your own adventure’ style children’s shows. The following year, he adopted the content format for adult viewers with the Black Mirror episode “Bandersnatch”. Since then, it has added other interactive children’s shows like “Minecraft: Story Mode” and “Emily’s Wonder Lab”.