Netflix Acquires Oxenfree Developer Night School Studio

Night School Studio is Netflix's first games studio as the streaming giant plans to expand into gaming.

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Netflix announced it has acquired Night School Studio, the developer behind Oxenfree, Afterparty, and Next Stop Nowhere.

"Night School wants to stretch our narrative and design aspirations across distinctive, original games with heart. Netflix gives film, TV, and now game makers an unprecedented canvas to create and deliver excellent entertainment to millions of people," wrote Sean Krankel, co-founder and studio director in a statement. The developer is the first game studio bought by Netflix, which earlier this year announced its plans to expand into the video games industry.

In the statement, Krankel wrote that Netflix has a track record for supporting diverse storytellers, which felt like a natural fit for Night School Studio. "The Netflix team has shown the utmost care for protecting our studio culture and creative vision. We’ll keep making Oxenfree II. We’ll keep cooking up new game worlds," he wrote.

"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," wrote Mike Verdu, Netflix's vice president of game development in a statement about the acquisition. Whether Netflix will continue to acquire more studios or just work with third-party developers is up in the air.

Similar to Netflix's shows and films, games will also be included in the service's memberships, with the added benefit of having no advertisements or in-app purchases. Acquisitions by corporations entering the gaming space can be fraught for studios. For instance, as part of its push into gaming with Stadia, Google acquired Typhoon Studio, only to subsequently shutter the developer when it announced it would no longer develop first-party games for the platform earlier this year.

Night School Studio's next project, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, was announced back in April. It is set to release sometime in 2022 for PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch.

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