Netflix has acquired Oxenfree developer Night School Studio.
Reports of Netflix’s foray into video games first surfaced over the summer, with the company itself confirming the move shortly after, writing in a letter to investors that its first games will be mobile and free to subscribers. With today’s announcement of Netflix’s first studio acquisition, we’re seeing perhaps the most significant development yet.
“Night School wants to stretch our narrative and design aspirations across distinctive, original games with heart,” said the studio’s Sean Krankel in a statement (opens in new tab). “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.”
Elsewhere in its announcement, Night School insists that its creative independence isn’t being compromised by its high-profile buyout, explaining that it’ll continue doing “what we do, how we like to do it,” just with the backing of one of entertainment’s biggest names. “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,” the statement continues.
In a separate release, Netflix confirmed that Night School Studio’s games will be exclusive to Netlix and be bundled into subscriptions for free without ads or in-app purchases. “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,” Netflix said in its announcement (opens in new tab).