Netflix is doubling down on what it likes to call 'Interactive Storytelling'. Netflix already offers choose your own adventure interactive storytelling experiences with shows like Puss in Boots: Trapped in an Epic Tale or Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile.
The newest edition to this is Minecraft story edition which is a licensed 5 episode narrative series which will be coming to the service in this fall. Minecraft story mode is already available for other platforms including iOS,Android and is built by gaming studios TellTale which is popular for its choose your adventure cinematic game series such as Wolf Among Us, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones TellTale game etc.
Choose your own adventure interactive experience shows which Netflix is building is based on the concept of 'branched narrative' which allows people to see the show like they see the other shows but at certain points viewers are allowed to choose what happens next and make some decisions which will then unlock different scenes and might even lead to different endings.
With this edition of interactive shows, Netflix has denied that it is entering the video gaming market. “There’s a broad spectrum of entertainment available today. Games have become increasingly cinematic, but we view this as interactive narrative storytelling on our service,” said a Netflix executive.
Parallely Netflix has been collaborating with gaming studios to launch games of its upcoming shows as a marketing and promotional tactic. For example Netflix launched a game for its upcoming show Stranger Things before its release in order to generate buzz.
In job posting for a Manager of Interactive Licensing Netflix had written :
"We are pursuing video games because we believe it will drive meaningful show awareness/buzz and allow fans to “play” our most popular content. We want the interactive category to help promote our titles so they become part of the zeitgeist for longer periods of time and we want to use games as a marketing tactic to capture demand and delight our member community."
It still has to be seen if this sort of interactive content will be dominant part of Netflix's original content strategy or will remain a content experiment.With a budget of about $8 billion for the year 2018 to create original content, the streaming service can surely afford to do some experiments.