Netflix acquires its first video game studio
Sylvie Claire / September. 29, 2021
Netflix announced Tuesday night the acquisition of its first video game studio, as the streaming giant looks to expand its empire into the lucrative sector.
The company has acquired California-based Night School Studio, which made its name by creating the supernatural thriller Oxenfree.
The platform, which has built its success on the on-demand distribution of films, series, documentaries and, more recently, reality TV shows, had announced in July its ambitions in video games.
It had indicated that it was aiming for virtual game versions of particularly popular films or series.
Night School's artistic excellence and proven expertise make it an invaluable partner, Netflix said. The co-founder of the Californian studio Sean Krankel, for his part, spoke of a surreal honor in becoming the first video game developer to join Netflix, in a blog post.
Netflix has already indicated that access to games will be included in the subscriptions of its customers.
According to several analysts, it is mainly for the group to keep its subscribers at a time when competition on its core business is increasingly pressing.
The group has already tried its hand at virtual games, airing a fully interactive episode of the thriller series Black Mirror in 2018 and launching a free mobile game based on the popular series Stranger Things.
Another challenge is the particularly fierce competition in the video game sector, as Netflix does not necessarily have the technical capacity to broadcast sophisticated games.
In August, the group said it had begun testing its capabilities in this area with users in Poland. Netflix also hired industry veteran Mike Verdu from Facebook to head up the video game team.
The fast-growing video game market is now worth more than $300 billion in global revenue, according to a study released in late April by consulting firm Accenture.