Netflix, last week AnnoucedIt had also acquired Night School Studio (developer of the OxenfreeSeries Afterparty. In a recent interview we spoke with Sean Krankel (night school co-founder) about how the partnership will affect the long-term and immediate future of the studio.
Night School is currently working to develop Oxenfree II: Lost Signals. The game will release sometime next year. Krankel informs us that Netflix’s acquisition did not have any impact on Oxenfree 2’s development. Despite now owning the studio, Netflix isn’t involved with this particular project – MWM Interactive is publishing Oxenfree II.
After Oxenfree II’s publication, Netflix will become Night School’s publisher. Night School is the studio Netflix has purchased during its move into the games industry. It was July. Bloomberg reportedNetflix has hired Mike Verdu as its head of video games. Verdu worked as an executive for EA, Facebook and Oculus before Netflix. Krankel believes Night School will be a key part of Netflix’s future development as it develops its gaming platform.
“It really was this very – I hate overusing the word organic, but it just kind of came together organically,” Krankel tells us. “We didn’t try to shop ourselves, but we reached the point when our visions aligned more closely for the things we love and the direction they wanted to take with the platform.”
The way that I think of acquisitions is more like “What’s down the horizon?” Krankel says. “Where should we go with this? We get to be part of the development process with them and help shape some of it. Later, we will come up with our next ideas. For now Oxenfree II, which is their main focus right now, remains the primary. [Netflix]You don’t even want to alter your course.
These two companies are not new to each other. It is not the first occasion that both companies have been associated with one another. The Verge Reports for 2019According to anonymous sources, Night School had been developing an unannounced videogame adaptation of Netflix’s popular series. Stranger Things“Designed to bridge between the seasons 2 and 3.” Telltale Games was the publisher of the game, but the studio acquired it. Closed in 2018 (before being Effectively revivedAs one source stated, at the beginning of 2019, The VergeThe game was never officially canceled, but “just kind of disappeared”.
Krankel claims that Night School’s deal with Netflix has been completely removed from Telltale’s previous agreement with them. Stranger Thingsvideo game. While he did confirm the validity of the report and the game’s development, he tells us the two events were “totally unrelated.”
“I think even as we started talking to them recently – basically, we’ve been talking to them for maybe six, seven months about a variety of different projects – but I don’t even know if they knew that we were making a Stranger Things Krankel laughs. “So yeah, that definitely – that was us working directly with Telltale on that, so we didn’t have as much of a direct connection.”
It remains to be seen what games Night School and Netflix will create. Krankel says that the parties had been in close contact before the acquisition. Night School’s work in adventure fiction has received high praise, particularly for how it uses naturalistic dialogue to create branching stories and its approach to storytelling. Krankel reveals that Netflix supports Night School’s vision as the developer keeps expanding on these ideas.
“It was born organically from our talking about games visions and wanting to create games that people can interact with. [stories]Krankel says that this is possible in “new ways.” We don’t intend to templatize our work, but we would like to continue pushing for brand-new stories and brand-new mechanics ideas. When we spoke to Netflix, that sounded amazing to us.
Night School Studio plans to release Oxenfree II on the PlayStation 5 in 2022.
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