Launched in a strategy of diversifying its content with the arrival next year of a service dedicated to video games on demand, Netflix has just announced the acquisition of Night School Studio, a game development studio. A first.
Netflix and Video Games, Act II. Since last July, we now know that the Redmond firm will embark on a new strategy of diversifying its content, with the theoretically planned arrival in 2022 of a video game service on demand.
To better develop this strategy, it even recruited in May Mike Verdu, a former executive passed by the publisher. Electronic Arts (where he was senior vice-president of EA Mobile) and Facebook, which will have the task of developing the service as “Vice President of Game Development” within Netflix. A post that also suggests the development of video games internally.
In this logic, we have just learned that the firm has just bought Night School Studio. A company founded by alumni of Telltale Games, which was for the record specializing in narrative video games and had its heyday in 2012 with the game series Walking dead, before experiencing a resounding bankruptcy in 2018. We also talked about it here.
In a Press release, studio co-founder Sean Krankel welcomes this rapprochement, calling it “natural”, specifying that Netflix’s mission is also to support different forms of storytelling. “Netflix offers film, television and now game makers an unprecedented mesh to create and deliver great entertainment to millions of people. Our explorations into storytelling gameplay and Netflix’s track record of supporting various storytellers ultimately give a natural rapprochement. It is as if the two teams had arrived at this conclusion instinctively “.
Night School Studio thus becomes the very first studio bought by the firm and passing directly into its bosom. We owe him in particular the creation of a solid adventure game released in 2016, Oxenfree, which was noted 17/20 among our colleagues in jeuxvideo.com. Its acquisition by Netflix will not affect the development and release of the sequel to this game, scheduled for next year for the Nintendo Switch console, Playstation and PC.
Here is the trailer for Oxenfree: