Two big bits of news out of E3 that you didn't see at any of the conferences. Telltale has got a new partnership in the works with Netflix, according to a new report, which will see one of their stories brought to Netflix in an interactive form. On top of that, we're getting a new Stranger Things game.
First up, Stranger Things. The existence of the partnership was first outed in a story by Techradar, which initially implied that the game would be published on Netflix as an interactive experience of sorts. That ended up not being the case: Netflix has given the green light for Telltale to make a Stranger Things game, and the British studio confirmed as much afterwards through Twitter.
Separately, we're thrilled to confirm that Telltale is developing a game based on Stranger Things that we'll publish to consoles and computers at a later date. (2/3)
— Telltale Games @ E3 (@telltalegames) June 13, 2018
The second, and potentially vastly more impactful, is Minecraft: Story Mode.
"We're delighted by the response we're seeing to the idea of Minecraft: Story Mode coming to @Netflix in the fall as an interactive adventure," Telltale said on Twitter. Netflix confirmed to TechRadar that the game would be adapted to its streaming service, with the original report saying that the game would "play similarly to titles like Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile".
Netflix stressed to TechCrunch in a statement that it wasn't getting into video games, however. "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," the statement reads.
It's not the first time Netflix has licensed out their IP for a video game - Stranger Things was adapted into a mobile game - but this project will be the most ambitious adaptation of a Netflix license so far. And despite Netflix's assertions, most gamers would also recognise Minecraft: Story Mode as a game through the Netflix platform, despite the choice-driven, narrative-heavy design of Telltale games.
The move also draws further attention to this job posting on the Netflix website, an opening for a manager of interactive licensing:
To that end we’re looking to establish an interactive licensing program to help amplify fervor around key titles by developing a new way for fans to experience our titles off the Netflix service.
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 (ex: Stranger Things: The Game)
This role requires someone to take on the responsibility of creating an end-to-end strategy and executional plan for the interactive category across our portfolio of titles.
What you will do:
Interactive licensing of our content across all platforms, including ownership of developer, publisher and platform relationships.
Be an internal and external champion of the opportunity, vision, pitch and message with regards to our interactive licensing strategy.
Identify upstream requirements (legal, financial, business planning, approvals) and downstream creative approach for interactive game development
Take a ‘creative friendly’ approach and ensure appropriate internal stakeholders are involved in key decision-making.
Develop go-to-market plans with interactive partners that leads to strong demand for our games.
Develop and implement an interactive category strategy for growth through console, mobile and PC platforms.
We've reached out to Netflix's local PR to confirm whether Australian users will get access to Minecraft: Story Mode when it launches, and more specifics on how it would function mechanically.