Netflix has acquired its first gaming studio, Night School Studio, as the streaming giant’s push into gaming picks up pace. Night School Studio produces what it calls “narrative-driven games”, and is best known for its game OXENFREE.
The acquisition of Night School Studio is another sign of Netflix’s intent to expand its entertainment offerings into the gaming world. In a blog post announcing the news, Netflix game development VP Mike Verdu said the company is still in the “early stages” of creating its gaming experience.
Netflix has already launched a few games, albeit in a small number of markets. Last month, it launched two mobile games in Poland, which were based on the hit series Stranger Things. This week they also launched three casual games in Spain and Italy, as well as in Poland. These games were called “Shooting Hoops,” “Teeter Up” and “Card Blast” and are notable in that they have no links to any of Netflix’s other content.
Night School Studio was founded by Sean Krankel and Adam Hines in 2014. Krankel formerly worked at Disney Interactive, while Hines was at Telltale Games. Before Telltale Games shut down in 2018, Netflix had licenced the rights for the studio to produce a Stranger Things game.
While the acquisition of Night School Studio is the streaming giant’s first gaming related purchase, Netflix has made other moves to indicate it’s serious about its gaming offering. One of these moves was the hiring of Mike Verdu, who was previously an executive at EA as well as Facebook’s Oculus.
In his blog post announcing the acquisition of Night School Verdu said that Netflix would “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”.
Verdu also reiterated that Netflix’s gaming offering would be included within members’ existing subscriptions. He also committed to no in-game ads or purchases.