Netflix has announced the acquisition of its first video game studio, as the streaming giant bids to expand its entertainment empire with a push into the lucrative gaming sector. Netflix said that the acquisition of Night School Studio, which is best known for its supernatural mystery graphic adventure game Oxenfree, is in line with the "storytelling" mantra that has defined the streaming service's strategy. The companies did not disclose the value of the deal.
Night School Studio has a couple of hit games on its roster, including 2019’s Afterparty, which takes place in a college town in hell, and 2016’s Oxenfree, which, according to the studio’s website, is a “supernatural thriller about a group of friends who unwittingly open a ghostly rift.” In fact, the connections between Night School Studio and the hit Netflix original Stranger Things go beyond the superficial: the studio had been working on a hybrid puzzle game based on the series back in 2018 when unexpected layoffs forced the project’s sudden shutdown.
In a statement, Mike Verdu, vice president of game development at Netflix, said that the platform’s initial game offerings will be completely free, without ads or the option for in-app purchases, and would be “exclusive games designed for every kind of gamer and any level of play.”