Oxenfree isn’t even out yet – it comes to PC, Mac and Xbox One on January 15 – but it’s already getting an expanded universe.
Night School Studio was founded in 2014 by Sean Krankel and Adam Hines, and is largely comprised of ex-Telltale and Disney staff. That’s quite a pedigree, I’m sure you’ll agree, and is in no small part why Oxenfree – their first release – looks so tantalising.
Announced in Spring 2015, Oxenfree tells the story of a group of teens going through the locally accepted adolescent right of passage ritual for their area, spending a weekend camping on a deserted military island. What starts as a coming-of-age tale quickly slips into a supernatural thriller, as the teens unwittingly open a rift between their world and a more sinister plane.
In May of this year Polygon described Oxenfree as “a mix of Freaks and Geeks, Poltergeist and the best teen films of the ’80s” and do you know what? That’s pretty much the perfect elevator pitch for Oxenfree, and I’m not going to try and improve upon it. I doff my cap to thee, Megan Farokhmanesh!
Now in the week of its release, there’s more exciting news for the Oxenfree universe: Night School Studio have teamed up with Skybound Entertainment – yes, that’s Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead’s production company – to bring the story of the Oxenfree universe to a wider range of media. Here’s what Kirkman himself had to say:
“Skybound is kicking off the New Year in a big way. 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. 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.” – Robert Kirkman, CEO, Skybound Entertainment
Skybound Entertainment have certainly done a fine job with expanding The Walking Dead’s presence from comics to television and even games, partnering with Telltale Games for similar narrative and decision-driven adventures; so Night School Studio are in good company.
What does that mean for the wider Oxenfree universe, then? Well for starters, there’ll be an all-day Twitch live-stream of the game on release day, starting at 11am PT on Friday. Skybound are also calling on their comic book heritage to commission a special poster by Outcast artist Paul Azaceta. There’s even preliminary talk of a film.
They’re also producing an official Making of Oxenfree web series, the first episode of which you can see right here:[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzLM-1XN6_0″ autoplay=”no”]