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Netflix debuts "interactive storytelling" where you decide how the story unfolds

21 Jun 2017 | Rasmus Larsen |

Netflix has released ’Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale’, which is the company’s first interactive story that lets the viewer decide how the story proceeds. More interactive content is coming in the near future.

Interactive storytelling for kids

The idea of interactive movies was hot two decades ago but it turned out that viewers actually preferred games when it came to interactivity. Technological development has made new tools available to storytellers and Netflix now believes that it could actually work.

The company is introducing ’Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale’ globally. This first interactive story is intended for kids but Netflix invites parents to join in on the fun. With the remote in your hand you are asked to take decisions that will affect how the story unfolds.

- “We’ve done extensive research and talked to lots of kids and parents, collecting qualitative data to better understand if this is something viewers will like, said Netflix and added: “Which choices or storylines will be the most popular? Will the mean bears or the friendly bears be more popular? Are members more compelled to rewatch and uncover all of the different storylines?”




More content coming soon

Whether “Interactive Storytelling”, as Netflix prefers to call it, becomes a success, is probably left to imagination to decide. Netflix collects tons of usage data but rarely shares it with the public. The best indicator of success will likely be if Netflix continues to release interactive content.

Company CtrlMovie AG recently experimented with something similar – ”the ultimate combination between game and movie” – with the release of the app ’Late Shift’ on Apple TV and other devices.

After ‘Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale’, Netflix will debut ‘Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile’ on July 14, and next year ’Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout’. Content has been created in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation, American Greetings Entertainment, and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios.

To take control of the story you need to be watching from a Smart TV, a streaming box, a game console or on iPhone/iPad. You also need the latest version of the Netflix app. Devices such as mobile Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, and web browsers are not yet supported, according to the technical support site.



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