YouTube Jumps Into The Choose Your Own Adventure Business

Not content with converting users from Assasin's Creed: Odyssey trailers into instant players, YouTube's having a proper crack at another type of gaming: interactive videos.

Bloomberg reported this week that a new business unit within Google overseen by the company's Ben Relles, the recently anointed head of innovation for YouTube Originals, will spearhead the creation of interactive programming and features.

Choose-your-own-adventure style content on YouTube is nothing new, but the company hasn't traditionally focused on the format for its original programming. Other content creators have provided agency to viewers through branching videos before, with one of the most famous examples from gaming being Heavy Rain. As a promotion for the Quantic Dream title, one of the game's opening sections was split into multiple videos, with dialogue choices converted into annotation buttons to progress the story.

The push into interactive content makes a lot of sense for YouTube, especially as Netflix makes waves with Black Mirror: Baldersnatch and a port of Minecraft: Story Mode that works with a standard TV remote. Netflix has a head start though: Their next interactive original You vs. Wild went live on Wednesday, even while the makers of the Choose Your Own Adventure trademark are actually suing Netflix in court over Baldersnatch.

YouTube is due to announce a new batch of original programming in a few weeks at a New York event, according to Bloomberg.


    Sure people may have liked Bandersnatch but is there actually a market for this kind of thing? I guess if you look at Telltale games there might be but I feel like this is a thing best served in moderation. There's a reason FMV games died out a decade or so ago and I don't think it was entirely because of bad acting.

    Youtube would have a lot more interactive content if they hadn't got rid of their annotations feature!

    FMV games ruled. Command and Conquer / Red Alert, Tex Murphy, MYST, Return to Zork, The 7th Guest, Wing Commander. All games with decent enough FMV. So it does work. I miss FMV games.

    Anyways. So if Youtube is going all "Choose Your Own Adventure". Will that mean that we'll get a proper port of "Plumbers Don't Wear Ties"?

    Last edited 12/04/19 3:37 pm

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