Netflix makes first game studio acquisition with Oxenfree developer Night School Studio

The streaming platform is bringing in an indie team that knows how to tell stories.

Image via Netflix

With its plans to expand further into game streaming, Netflix has officially acquired its first development studio in Night School Studio. 

Night School is best known for developing 2016’s supernatural mystery indie darling Oxenfree, along with Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n and Afterparty. The team is working on Oxenfree II: Lost Signals and it’s excited about what working in-house with Netflix can open up in terms of future projects. 

Specifically, studio co-founder Sean Krankel thinks this deal will allow Night School to continue focusing on telling the stories and creating the games that it wants to make. 

“Night School wants to stretch our narrative and design aspirations across distinctive, original games with heart,” Krankel said. “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.”

On the Netflix side of the purchase, the company’s vice president of game development, Mike Verdu, said it’s still in the early stages of creating its gaming experience. 

Verdu also once again confirmed that Netflix’s game offerings will be bundled into the pre-existing subscription model for the platform. Members will be able to play any game brought to the streaming service ad free and there are currently no plans to offer additional in-app purchases. 

“We’re inspired by Night School’s bold mission to set a new bar for storytelling in games,” Verdu said. “Their 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. We’ll continue working with developers around the world and hiring the best talent in the industry to deliver a great collection of exclusive games designed for every kind of gamer and any level of play.”

As Krankel put it, the Night School team also has a “kaleidoscope of butterflies” in its collective stomachs and is excited to see what the future holds thanks to this acquisition.