Netflix acquires its first games studio, “Oxenfree” developer Night School – TechCrunch

Night School Studio, an independent game developer best known for its narrative-driven titles such as Oxenfree, has announced that it was acquired by Netflix. It is the first game studio that the streaming giant has bought.
Netflix's vice president of game design Mike Verdu wrote that Night Schools' commitment to artistic excellence and track record make them valuable partners in building out the library of Netflix games. The games will be included in its membership and not require any ads or in-app purchase.

Night School Studio was established in 2014 by Sean Krankel (a former senior game designer at Disney Interactive) and Adam Hines (a former lead writer at Telltale Games). Telltale Games was an early partner of Netflix, and worked on interactive shows such as Minecraft: Storymode adventure.

Krankel stated that Netflix offers film, TV, and now games makers unprecedented opportunities to create and deliver great entertainment to millions. It was a natural match between our explorations of narrative gameplay and Netflix's support for diverse storytellers.

Krankel assured fans of Oxenfree or other Night School titles that it would continue to work on Oxenfree II, and will be creating new game worlds.

He wrote that the Netflix team showed great care in protecting our studio culture, and our creative vision.

The acquisition news comes less than one day after Netflix launched three casual mobile games in Italy, Spain and Poland. It also follows a month following the release of two tie-in games to Stranger Things.

Netflix's second quarter shareholder letter stated that it is still exploring its gaming model and considers gaming to be another content category like its original films, animation, and reality TV shows.

Before working on mobile games, Netflix first ventured into interactive storytelling four years ago, when it launched choose-your-own-adventure-style childrens shows. It expanded the format to adult viewers in the next year with Black Mirrors Bandersnatch. It has added interactive shows for children like Minecraft Story Mode and Emilys Wonder Lab.