Netflix & Gaming: Why Aren't There Mobile Video Games of Bright, GLOW, and Game Over, Man!


     Netflix has been branching out of simple streaming video over the last year and into other media.  They released a comic just last week, The Magic Order, after their acquisition of famed comic book writer Mark Millar's (Wanted, Kingsman, Kickass) Millarworld Publishing earlier last year.
     Netflix has also tinkered with some interactive narrative fiction with their "Choose Your Own Adventure" type children's shows with partnered company Dreamworks Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale (featuring Puss in Boots from the Shrek films) and Buddy Thunderstruck, as well as Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout which through their partnership with Hasbro.


     Much more recently however,  Netflix has announced both a team up with Telltale games for a new episodic Stranger Things game, a full game in Telltale's own unique fashion, as well as an adapted version of Minecraft: Story Mode to continue in Netflix's interactive narratives.

     Netflix explained to TechRadar that, "Minecraft: Story Mode is a licensed 5-episode interactive narrative series coming to our service this fall. It's an extension of our other interactive stories we have on our service like Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout, Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile."  Further going on to say, "We don’t have any plans to get into gaming. 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."
     That doesn't sound so good.  Netflix regards the Stranger Things Telltale project to rightfully be a video game, but considers the more "Choose Your Own Adventure" type stuff on their own platform to be "interactive narratives" due to the simplistic nature and limitations of the streaming service and a remote.
     That may leave gamers a little disappointed, but we can still be hopeful because...


     They've already entered the gaming realm.  First off, Netflix has already published one extremely fun mobile video game with Stranger Things: The Game.  It was a phenomenal top-down RPG akin to the old Legend of Zelda games.
     Secondly, according to a job posting for Netflix, the Manager of Interactive Licensing says,
     "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."
     So, they say they aren't getting into games, but have already made one, and have a second one on deck (the two Stranger Things games).  Which means we may be seeing a lot more interactive stories on the streaming service itself, while the licensing could wind up bringing us actual games based on Netflix's properties on other platforms.

     The collaborative projects were an intriguing start, but what really has me curious is the release of their own show Stranger Things: The Game's tie-in mobile game last year.  I wouldn't mind a bunch of small games based on properties Netflix holds.

     Here's a few Netflix shows that would benefit greatly from a video game.


     I've already expressed wonder as to why some of their properties don't have tie-in games, and GLOW is the perfect example.  Players could work their way through a small story based off of the wrestling characters from the show in an isometric wrestling game.  It could have story mode, an infinitely replayable mode just for fun, and even some challenge modes.  DLC skins would be an option for generating income.
     The reason GLOW would be a great candidate is not just that the show is amazing, but the games it could emulate are insanely popular.  Fire Pro World Wrestling is widely regarded as great (despite some clunky controls), and a more stylized game to emulate would be one of the best wrestling games of all time 1993's WWF Royal Rumble.  By today's standards, it's a simple game, but it still holds up mechanically and plays great- which GLOW could imitate for the mobile market.


     The gritty crime-fantasy Bright, which I've also asked for a game for, would be another great show that could get a very awesome Grand Theft Auto type 3rd person game.  A simple 3rd-person, action adventure would suit the nature of the Netflix original well.  Players could swap back and forth between narratives of a human and an orc and their intertwined stories leading to a single endpoint.  Think of games like the HIGHLY underrated Dead Space Mobile, Slaughter 1 & 2, or even anything Rockstar Games has on mobile (all the GTA games, Bully, and Max Payne).  There's a wealth of potential in this brilliantly created world ripe for video game entries.


     Another great option would be the action comedy Game Over, Man!, which has an in-film video game adaptation already.  It's nothing special, but offers a small glimpse of the potential it could have.  It could easily be a small entertaining spoof of the movie itself, or even an unrelated storyline all taking place in one of the characters' daydream or some such thing.

     Netflix has a ton of great originals and there's plenty of opportunity to tap into tie-in games through licensing- so for whoever gets the job listed above, please start bringing us this extra form of entertainment to allow for that much more immersion in these worlds.

     Source [ Tech Radar ] via [ PC Games Insider ]

     Stranger Things: The Game [ Google Play ] [ iOS ]

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