Netflix leans further into gaming, buys developers of Oxenfree

netflix gaming games

As part of its efforts to deliver more gaming experiences for subscribers, Netflix has announced the acquisition of Oxenfree developers Night School Studio.

This isn’t the streaming service’s first foray into gaming — with it notably releasing companion mobile games for its Stranger Things series.

However, this marks another step towards the service’s move into gaming.

“We’re in the early stages of creating a great gaming experience for our members around the world,” Mike Verdu, Netflix VP of Game Development said in a statement.

“So we’re excited to announce today Night School Studio is joining Netflix.”

Night School Studio is an indie studio that developed narrative adventure games Oxenfree and Afterparty. It is currently developing Oxenfree II.

“We’re inspired by their bold mission to set a new bar for storytelling in games. 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,” Verdu said.

According to Sean Krankel, co-founder of Night School Studio, they are the first games development studio to join to streaming platform.

“Of course, it’s a surreal honour to be the first games studio to join Netflix! Not only do we get to keep doing what we do, how we like to do it, but we get a front-row seat on the biggest entertainment platform in the world,” Krankel said in a blog post.

“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.”

Plans for gaming on Netflix

So what are Netflix’s plans for gaming on the service?

Unlike previous Netflix games, which are mobile focused, Night School Studio develops games for PC and consoles.

However, currently, the service has started out small with its gaming rollout. It’s acquisition of Night School Studio hints at greater ambitions though.

In August, the service added two of its Stranger Things games to the Netflix app in Poland.

It has since expanded the test to Spain and Italy.

But Netflix plans to continue hiring more developers to create exclusive games for the service.

“Like our shows and films, these games will all be included as part of your Netflix membership — all with no ads and no in-app purchases,” Verdu notes.

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Feature image: David Balev/Unsplash

Megan Ellis, Editor
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