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

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 their membership and will have no 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 shown great care in protecting our studio culture and creative vision,” he wrote.

The acquisition news comes less than a day after Netflix launched three new casual mobile games in Poland, Italy and Spain, a month after it launched two games tied to the “Stranger Things” series.

On Netflix second quarter letter to shareholders, the company said it is in the early stages of exploring its gaming model and views games as 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 it launched “choose your own adventure” -style shows for kids. The following year, it adopted the format of content for adult viewers with the episode “Bandersnatch” of Black Mirror. Since then, other interactive children’s shows such as “Minecraft: Story Mode” and “Emily’s Wonder Lab” have been added.

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