Netflix has made no secret of the fact that it’s getting into gaming, and the streaming giant has made its first acquisition in the gaming space. Oxenfree and Afterparty developer Night School Studio announced that it has been acquired by Netflix.
The team revealed the acquisition via a blog post on its website. Night School has been talking with Netflix over the past few months, aligning their visions on “where we see games, storytelling, and our collective opportunity for positive impact somewhere in the middle.” Now under the Netflix umbrella, Night School says this gives them an “unprecedented canvas” to their team, unlocking the same potential that Netflix has afforded to its film and TV creators. The studio says it was an “instinctive” and “natural pairing,” based on Netflix’s previous catalog of support for diverse storytellers.
This makes Night School the first every game studio for Netflix, ramping up the streamers plans in the space in a big but perhaps not entirely unexpected way. Night School says that Netflix is respecting and protecting the team’s culture and creative vision, and that they will continue working on Oxenfree II (ironically announced at PlayStation Indies back in August), as well as making new game worlds. How exactly this acquisition plays out, especially in the console space where manufacturers have their own subscription gaming services, remains to be seen, but it is undoubtedly part of a much bigger strategy that Netflix is laying down as it enters the gaming industry in a bigger way.
Over on the Netflix side, the company said that it is in the early stages of creating a “great gaming experience for our members.” They echo Night School’s statements that the acquisition came from a shared passion for storytelling, and specifically how Night School does it for 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.”
Netflix says it will continue to work with developers, as well as hiring more gaming talent.
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. 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. Stay tuned for more.
The Netflix Night School acquisition is effective as of today, and heralds a big new step in the video games and streaming landscape.