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Netflix acquires Oxenfree studio for push into gaming

Netflix is continuing its push into the video game market. Shortly after beginning public testing for game streaming, Netflix has now acquired its first video game studio – Night School Studio, best known for the indie game ‘Oxenfree’.

Night School Studio made a name for itself back in 2016 with the release of Oxenfree, a great little supernatural thriller that went on to receive very positive reviews. The studio followed up with Afterparty in 2019, a game set in the afterlife where you attempt to outdrink Satan in order to be granted passage back to Earth.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but under Netflix, Night School Studio will continue development on Oxenfree 2, while also working on new IP. Typically, this studio is known for narrative-driven games with lots of conversation options and choices, an area that Netflix has a keen interest in following the success of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Speaking on the deal, Night School’s Sean Krankel said: “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.”

Just like Netflix shows and films, there will be no ads, or in-app purchases. Netflix also does not have plans to introduce a ‘gaming’ subscription tier, instead, games on Netflix will be introduced as part of the standard content library and will be streamable to all the devices Netflix is available on. Currently, game streaming is undergoing limited region tests, but we expect to see games joining the service officially in 2022.

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KitGuru Says: Netflix isn’t aiming to rival consoles or create Triple A titles at this point in time. However, it will want engaging, non-graphically demanding indie games, just like Oxenfree, making this studio acquisition a smart one. 

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