Netflix has announced it is rolling out its successful interactive kids’ show format to new adult programmes. The streaming service, which has more than 100 million subscribers worldwide, is expanding the choose-your-own storyline genre after the response to its earlier interactive children’s shows Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile.
Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said the positive reaction to these programmes is what convinced him that it was worth experimenting with a similar series for adults, according to Bloomberg.
“Content creators have a desire to tell non-linear stories like these, and Netflix provides the freedom to roam, try new things and do their best work. Being an internet-based company enables us to innovate new formats, deliver at scale to millions of members all over the world on multiple device types and, most importantly, learn from it,” added Carla Engelbrecht Fisher, Director of Product Innovation at Netflix.
“We’re looking forward to learning and seeing where the path leads us.”
The first series of Puss in Book was created in partnership with DreamWorks Animation and featured 13 different storyline choices and two endings. Meanwhile, Buddy Thunderstruck, produced by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, stars a truck-racing dog and his pet ferret and gives viewers different choices for stunts that will likely go horribly wrong.
Here’s a little bit of what the shows look like:
Netflix hasn’t yet confirmed which adult shows will be interactive but a spokeswoman told me this afternoon: “We are looking for great stories in many forms. If we find a great story for adults that would be best told using branching narrative then we would be open to producing it.” Personally, I think an interactive episode of House of Cards, Mindhunter or Gilmore Girls would be amazing.
And Netflix isn’t the first major network to go after the interactive TV market recently. Last month, it was announced HBO will air a six-episode murder series called Mosaic from Academy award-winning film director Steven Soderbergh - and viewers can download an app and interact with the 7.5-hour long story. “It’s not a TV show, and it’s not a movie,” Soderbergh told The Verge. “It’s something else.”
Some might complain that this new push for interactive TV is just a watered-down version of what you can already do with video games, but this new choose-your-own genre from a quality content producer like Netflix could offer a much deeper level of storytelling. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with.