Netflix has acquired Oxenfree developer Night School Studio, while their mobile games have become available in Italy and Spain.
As previously reported, Mike Verdu joined Netflix as their Vice President of Game Development in July. He is the former Facebook VP of AR/VR content, Electronic Arts SVP of EA Mobile, Zynga Chief Creative Officer, Co-President of Games, and more gaming related pedigree.
At the time Bloomberg reported that “according to a person familiar with the situation” Netflix would be offering video games as part of its streaming platform in 2022; appearing as a genre akin to documentaries or stand-up specials. Netflix have publicly stated their interest in interactive entertainment, after insider sources claimed the same. Those sources claimed an Apple Arcade style service was discussed.
While Polish Netflix users had access to two mobile games as part of their subscription in August (featuring two Stranger Things games with no microtransactions or adverts); VGC now reports the tests are being rolled out to Italy and Spain. Three more games were also added to the library; including Card Blast, Shooting Hoops, and Teeter Up.
This news was almost overshadowed by Netflix’ bigger gaming news of the day- acquiring Night School Studio. “Over the last few months, we’ve had countless thoughtful chats about our respective visions for where we see games, storytelling, and our collective opportunity for positive impact somewhere in the middle,” Night School Studio explained in their announcement.
They state they wish to “stretch our narrative and design aspirations across distinctive, original games with heart.” Likewise, Night School Studio state that Netflix are giving “film, TV, and now game makers an unprecedented canvas to create and deliver excellent entertainment to millions of people.”
The developer’s desire to explore narrative gameplay, and Netflix supporting “diverse storytellers” was described as a “natural pairing. It felt like both teams came to this conclusion instinctively.” Night School Studio also state they will continue working on Oxenfree II.
Along with Netflix praising Night School Studio’s “commitment to artistic excellence and proven track record” and setting the bar for storytelling in games; Netflix confirms in their announcement that they will acquire other studios.
“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.”