There's more where Black Mirror: Bandersnatch came from: Netflix is looking to invest more time and money into creating interactive experiences for the streaming service by hiring game designers. Specifically, Netflix is looking to expand on content like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which released on the streaming service in December 2018.
The Black Mirror standalone movie was wildly successful among users of the streaming service. The story followed a young computer programmer named Stefan as he attempts to adapt a fantasy novel, titled Bandersnatch, into a video game. Unlike previous Black Mirror installments, though, this one allowed the viewer to participate in the decisions Stefan was making, simulating a Choose Your Own Adventure video game alike to the one Stefan was creating. This innovative new feature was a risky bet for Netflix but ultimately turned out to be an incredibly successful, and easily rewatchable, investment.
Per Netflix's job posting, the service is hoping to, "help facilitate and create the next generation of story experiences for millions of Netflix viewers around the world." The company posted various interactive job openings on their website seeking creators who will apply their "passion for interactive experiences, narrative design, and technology to help reimagine the future of entertainment experiences on Netflix." At the beginning of this year, the streaming giant announced that they're planning to spend upwards of $15 billion on original content. After spending a hefty $12-13 billion in 2018, it's a major uptick that could aid in providing creators with the opportunity to expand on ideas for the platform. It'd make sense that after Bandersnatch's monumental success, both among critics and viewers, Netflix is looking to invest in more interactive content.
Bandersnatch's interactive Choose Your Own Adventure style is one that's been around for years in the games industry, but is relatively new to the television industry. Interactive storytelling has proven to be a bankable genre for video game developers, especially in regard to the Telltale Games or the Life is Strange series, so Netflix's decision to further explore the possibilities within decision-based storytelling is a bet that could prove beneficial for their platform. It's a way to not only attract a different audience but help provide various options for users to explore.
This decision is one that could liven up Netflix's service and help them stand out from the array of streaming platforms that are currently available at our fingertips. More interactive programs, akin to Bandersnatch, also gives creators the opportunity to expand their horizons and develop exciting new things for viewers to experience. The entertainment industry is constantly evolving, and streaming services have become a staple within it, partly for their accessibility. Interactive storytelling is a way for streaming services, like Netflix, to evolve right alongside a growing creative field.