Netflix to Launch Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Interactive Shows With ‘Black Mirror’ Special

Streaming service will let viewers decide the outcome of some of their favorite shows, Bloomberg reports

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Netflix is diving deeper into interactive content that will let viewers decide the outcome of some of their favorite Netflix originals, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

The streaming giant plans to release the first of these shows before the end of the year and will also release an interactive episode from the upcoming season of its Emmy-winning science-fiction series “Black Mirror.” The series, which is much like a modern-day “Twilight Zone,” features satirical tales that explore techno-paranoia with stories that tap into the collective unease about the modern world. The fifth season of the show is expected to be released sometime in December.

Interactive content is nothing new to Netflix. The streaming giant has a growing history with the format, which first started last year with the release of “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale,” a choose-your-own-adventure story for children. The series allowed users to make simple decisions, such as deciding who the feline protagonist should fight or which destination he should travel to.

Netflix followed up the “Puss in Boots” series with “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile,” which was made in partnership with American Greetings Entertainment and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the creators behind “Robot Chicken.”

The big difference between its past relationship with interactive content and this new push is that formerly its efforts were aimed at children, whereas it’s upcoming content will be focused on wrangling in adult audiences. Like every video platform on the market, Netflix is experimenting with new ways to foster engagement on its service. At the same time, it is also attempting to create an offering that isn’t found anywhere else, much like it did when it first introduced its original programming and offered users the ability binge on an entire season of a show as soon as it released.

According to Bloomberg, the upcoming interactive content will be much more complex than the choose-your-own-adventure shows released last year.

The news of the streamer’s increased efforts into interactive programming comes on the heels of a partnership with Telltale Games, a video game developer based in San Rafael, California. Under the agreement, Telltale will help develop a new animated series based on the hit video game “Minecraft.” TechRadar, who first broke the news of the partnership in June, said that — according to its sources — the series would be similar to a “simple game experience.” However, Netflix has emphasized that it is not planning to get into the video game market but instead categorizes the upcoming content as interactive narrative storytelling.

To help with its push into interactive programming, the Los Gatos, California-based streamer recently hired the former head of merchandise and product development at Walt Disney Co, Christie Fleischer. In her new role, the industry veteran will oversee retail and licensee partnerships, publishing, interactive content, merchandising and experiential events

A representative for Netflix declined TheWrap’s request for comment.