Netflix Acquires Its First Game Studio, “Oxenfree” Developer Night School – TechCrunch

A screenshot of the game Night School Studio "No oxen"

A screenshot of the Night School Studio game “Oxenfree”

Night school study, the independent game developer known for narrative titles like “Oxenfree,” announced today that it has been acquired by Netflix. This makes it the first game studio the streaming giant has bought.

In the Netflix announcement, Mike Verdu, Vice President of Game Development, wrote that “Night School’s commitment to artistic excellence and proven track record make them invaluable partners as we develop Netflix’s creative capabilities and library of games. “. He added that Netflix plans to add “exclusive games designed for all types of gamer and any level of play” that will be included with your membership and will not have 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 lead writer at Telltale Games. (Telltale Games was a Netflix partner, working on interactive programs like the adventure “Minecraft: Storymode” before closing).

In a statement on the Night School site, Krankel wrote: “Netflix offers movies, television and now game creators an unprecedented canvas to create and deliver great entertainment to millions of people. Our explorations into storytelling and Netflix’s history of supporting diverse storytellers was such a natural combination. “

For fans of Oxenfree and other Night School titles, Krankel assured them that he will continue to work on Oxenfree II and “cook up new game worlds.”

“The Netflix team has been extremely careful to protect our studio culture and creative vision,” he wrote.

Acquisition news 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 that were links to the series “Stranger Things”.

On Netflix second quarter letter to shareholders, the company said it is in the early stages of exploring its gaming model and considers games to be another category of content, such as its original films, animation and reality shows.

Before working on mobile games, Netflix first ventured into interactive storytelling four years ago, when she launched “choose your own adventure” style children’s shows. The following year, it adopted the content format for adult viewers with Black Mirror episode “Bandersnatch”. Since then, other interactive children’s programs have been added such as “Minecraft: Story Mode” and “Emily’s Wonder Lab”.

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