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Netflix buys Oxenfree developer Night School Studio

Oxenfree characters
(Image credit: Night School Studio)

In one of Netflix's first big moves as it expands into game devleopment, the streaming company announced on Tuesday that it's acquired indie developer Night School Studio. Night School's first game Oxenfree was highly praised when it came out in 2016, and we also quite liked Afterparty, an adventure game about drinking your way out of hell. The studio is currently developing a sequel to Oxenfree, which will continue under Netflix's ownership.

"Night School wants to stretch our narrative and design aspirations across distinctive, original games with heart," writes Night School co-founder Sean Krankel. "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."

This is Netflix's first game studio acquisition, but surely won't be the last. "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."

Neither Netflix or Night School specified whether Oxenfree 2 will become available over the streaming platform; we still don't know much about how Netflix ultimately plans to deliver games outside interactive films like Bandersnatch. But Oxenfree's simple controls and focus on dialogue seem like an easy fit.

Wes Fenlon

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games. When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old RPG or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).