In one of Netflix's first big moves as it expands into game devleopment, the streaming company announced (opens in new tab) on Tuesday that it's acquired indie developer Night School Studio. Night School's first game Oxenfree (opens in new tab) was highly praised when it came out in 2016, and we also quite liked Afterparty (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). But Oxenfree's simple controls and focus on dialogue seem like an easy fit.