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'Walking Dead' studio Skybound Entertainment hopes to develop an 'Oxenfree' film

'Walking Dead' studio Skybound Entertainment hopes to develop an 'Oxenfree' film
“Oxenfree” aims to marry mystery and horror with the awkwardness of being a teenager. (Night School Studio)

The folks behind "The Walking Dead" are teaming up with Glendale's tiny Night School Studio, the video game company that will on Friday release its first game, "Oxenfree."

Long-term, as part of what's dubbed a "co-branding franchise agreement," Robert Kirkman's Skybound Entertainment intends to develop a film property based on "Oxenfree." In the meantime, Skybound has launched a making-of series titled "The Story of 'Oxenfree.'" The first episode was posted today and additional chapters will be released daily through Thursday.

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"Oxenfree" centers on a 17-year-old woman named Alex. Her mom has just remarried, she barely knows her stepbrother, and her own brother died under tragic circumstances, an event that ripped her parents apart. The game's biggest challenges deal with communication — among friends and, occasionally, with ghostly, scary beings.

"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," said "The Walking Dead" creator Kirkman in a statement.

Details of the deal were not disclosed, and there was no time frame given as to when "Oxenfree" may bleed into other media beyond the making-of series. Skybound, according to the release, will also develop "Oxenfree" merchandise.

"Oxenfree's" mysteries, as detailed in a recent feature, are unraveled by instructing the characters to use an old radio to dial into what are perhaps otherworldly frequencies, but often the teens prove to be just as out of tune with one another as they are with the game's supernatural elements.

Ghosts, after all, are creepy, but prom is terrifying too.

"The idea, when we were starting the studio, was story," says Night School co-founder Sean Krankel. "We had always really been into stories in games, but at the same time it only feels like it's in the last two or three years where there's been this serious appetite for story — and improving stories — in games."

"Oxenfree" will be released Jan. 15 for PCs and the Xbox One.

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