Netflix acquires Oxenfree developer Night School Studio

Netflix announced that it has acquired Night School Studio, independent game developer best known for its branching narratives like Oxenfree, for an undisclosed sum. The deal marks as the first game studio acquisition for Netflix. 

Founded by Sean Krankel in 2014, Night School Studio will continue to work on the Oxenfree 2: Lost Signals game, following the acquisition . Oxenfree 2 game, which is expected to be released in 2022, is being developed for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC.

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

“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.” he added. 

While it is unknown whether the new Oxenfree game will be available through Netflix, Netflix vice president of game development Mike Verdu said that Netflix plans to add exclusive games designed for all types of players and all game levels, which will be included in its membership and contain no ads or in-app purchases.

The acquisition shows that Netflix is serious about getting into games and not just focusing on mobile, as the company had implied in a previous earnings call. The company had said in its Q2 2021 earning report that it will be “primarily focused” on games for mobile devices, building on its interactivity projects like Black Mirror Bandersnatch and its Stranger Things games. 

In late August, the company announced that it started testing mobile games in its Android app with users in Poland. 

Meanwhile, Netflix is moving to mobile games with the launch of three new mobile games in Spain, Poland, and Italy. Casual games, which are available to Netflix members, include Shooting Hoops, Teeter Up and Card Blast. 

New games, which need Netflix subscription credentials to play, are displayed via the new Games tab inside the Netflix Android app. 

Written by Jordan Bevan

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