The gaming industry isn’t an easy place for indie developers to make money, which is possibly why one of them is looking to break their game out into other industries as well.
Developer Night School Studio is working with The Walking Dead comic-book publisher Skybound to adapt Oxenfree — an interesting new game due out this month for Xbox One and PC — into film and other mediums. This is Skybound’s area of expertise as, under the leadership of president David Alpert and The Walking Dead writer Robert Kirkman, it has produced games, merchandise and more. And while gaming is a massive industry worth tens of billions of dollars, that money has grown harder and harder for indie developers to come by. And Night School Studio may have generate more revenue by working with a partner that can guide it into other spaces. That’s especially true after partnering with Skybound, which is responsible for some of the most popular comic books in the world as well as two AMC television shows based on The Walking Dead that regularly have larger audiences than anything else on cable.
Oxenfree certainly has the potential to build an audience of loyal fans. It is set up a bit like The Goonies, Stand By Me, or Freaks and Geeks. Players take on the role of the teenaged Alex as she and her step-brother attend a high school party. The night gets out of hand when the kids decide to visit the decommissioned Edwards military base. All the while, Alex begins picking up strange signals on her portable radio.
Check out Oxenfree in action in the trailer below:
This strong foundation led to the eventual partnership.
“As soon as we got our hands on Oxenfree and experienced this unique narrative driven game, we knew that the IP had huge potential and that the Skybound team needed to be a part of it,” Kirkman said in a canned statement. “Creating multiplatform entertainment in the thriller genre is in our wheelhouse, and it’s great to partner with the passionate developers at Night School to delve deeper into the Oxenfree realm.”
And while Skybound is going to help Night School Studio deliver variations on Oxenfree, the publishing label is also going to work to promote the game itself. That includes a livestream on Skybound’s Twitch channel starting 11 a.m. Pacific time Friday. The company has also already started work on a “Making of…” video series that documents the creation Oxenfree. The first episode debuts today, and they will continue dropping daily through Thursday.
“We are beyond excited to be working with Robert Kirkman and Skybound to expand the Oxenfree world,” Night School Studio chief executive and cofounder Sean Krankel said in a statement. “Skybound has shown time and again that it knows how to take weird, creepy, cool stories and bring them to various media in super authentic ways. Oxenfree has been a labor of love for Night School, and it’s clear to us that Skybound will treat our story and characters with respect in games, film, and beyond. We’re looking forward to creating awesome content together and offering fans a deeper dive into the world of Oxenfree.”