Netflix buys first game studio to bolster its new video games business

Billion-dollar streaming titan Netflix is getting into the video games business, and it just purchased its first indie developer.

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Netflix makes its first official game studio acquisition as it gears up new video games business.

Netflix buys first game studio to bolster its new video games business 233

Streaming giant Netflix is getting into video games in a big way. Video games will be included free in all Netflix subscriptions starting with mobile phones and eventually other platforms including TVs. "Every device is a candidate for some sort of gaming experience," Netflix COO Greg Peters says.

Netflix has just purchased its first indie game studio to help realize this ambitious plan. The company has acquired indie game dev Night School, a team responsible for smaller games like the supernatural platformer Oxenfree. Netflix plans to start small and eventually ramp up to wider-scale experiences.

"Night School wants to stretch our narrative and design aspirations across distinctive, original games with heart. Netflix gives film, TV, and now game makers an unprecedented canvas to create and deliver excellent entertainment to millions of people. Our explorations in narrative gameplay and Netflix's track record of supporting diverse storytellers was such a natural pairing. It felt like both teams came to this conclusion instinctively," the developer said in an announcement post.

"Of course, it's a surreal honor to be the first games studio to join Netflix! Not only do we get to keep doing what we do, how we like to do it, but we get a front-row seat on the biggest entertainment platform in the world. The Netflix team has shown the utmost care for protecting our studio culture and creative vision. We'll keep making OXENFREE II. We'll keep cooking up new game worlds."

Netflix has yet to announce any games, but the company did outline its video games business plan in a recent earnings call. Here's a summary:

  • Netflix doesn't have to think about microtransactions in its games
  • Gaming is a multi-year effort
  • Starting first with mobile, every Netflix device is a candidate for games
  • Standalone games as well as games based on established IP
  • Games will be licensed out to third-parties (think Stranger Things 3 video game)
  • Netflix will try a lot of different games, devices, mechanisms, etc.
  • More interactive experiences like Bandersnatch coming
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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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