Netflix Buys First Game Studio: You may have heard not too long ago that Netflix has been planning on getting into games.
Well, earlier this week the streaming company announced its first studio acquisition.
Netflix Buys First Game Studio
The official handout reads, “We´re within the early stages of making an excellent gaming experience for our members around the world. So we´re excited to announce today school Studio is joining Netflix.”
According to past reports, Netflix plans to bring games into their regular subscription service without ads or in-game purchases but what is unclear is just how it’s all going to work. In addition to what kinds of games there are going to be offering and even how people are going to play them.
Netflix has obviously dipped its toes into the interactive entertainment water before with things like the Black Mirror Bandersnatch episode but Night School is a game developer with significant releases across multiple and more traditional gaming platforms.
Night School Studios
If you are not familiar, Night School is the indie developer behind the spooky and atmospheric adventure game Oxenfree as well as Afterparty, a game where you die, go to hell, and then try out drink Satan so he´ll re-grant your life in Earth.
Both games implement a dynamic conversation system that remembers your choices which then go on to impact your relationships with other characters in addition to steering both small and major narrative events.
It’s not an entirely new concept but Night School’s dialogue mechanics have been well received, usually feeling ever-present and more nuanced than usual and very obvious binary choices you see in most games.
Night Scholl also made an Apple Arcade game named Next Stop Nowhere and they currently working on Oxyfree II: Lost Signals which is slated to come out in 2022.
Also, it feels like this probably isn´t the direction Netflix is heading in the future but it’s worth noting that Nigh School also developed an alternate reality game for the critically acclaimed television series Mr. Robot. Where players would use their phones to interact with characters from the show via text messages.
ARG´s aren´t exactly the most popular genre but with a healthy and growing amount of Netflix series and movies. It´s not hard to imagine a world where Netflix capitalizes on producing their own tie-in or license games internally.
For example, Squid Game, a popular show on the streaming service has basically taken Roblox by storm. Tons of players have been building their own versions of the twisted games depicted during the series.
Clearly, there´s enough interest in Netflix properties to build official games with potential. But there is also plenty of room for Netflix to build entirely new IPs with their games. The same way they have done with shows and movies in the past.
Either way, it kind of makes you wonder which developer Netflix will scoop up next.
Night School isn´t a huge studio, with roughly around 20 developers. But you have to imagine they´re only the first acquisition of many.
However, money and buying up studios isn´t everything. As we´ve seen examples with Amazon and Google. Stumbling their way into games and leaving a trail of dead projects and studios along the way.
Needless to say, there´s a lot of questions about how Netflix plans to compete in the space.
Do games on the service have to be playable with the TV remote?
Will Netlfix be building its own controllers, dongles, or box top sets?
Will there be a way to play Netflix service games locally or will everything just live in the cloud?
I´m sure you have a lot of questions and ideas around Netflix´s recent foray into games too. So feel free to share them in the comments, and thanks for reading.