8:05 am EDT, March 12, 2019

After ‘Bandersnatch’ success, Netflix doubling down on interactive storytelling

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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was a big hit on Netflix, and it has caused the streamer to look at creating more interactive stories.

Black Mirror’s Choose Your Own Adventure-style movie, Bandersnatch was the movie people couldn’t stop talking about when it hit Netflix in December. Laced with the dread and darkness for which Black Mirror stories are known, the show took an unexpected fun turn when viewers were given the choice to decide what happened to the movie’s main character, Stefan.

As Variety reports, Netflix product VP Tod Yellin revealed in a keynote given at the FICCI-Frames conference in Mumbai that Netflix would be “doubling down” on interactive storytelling. However, don’t expect every new interactive film or movie to be as heavy as Bandersnatch.

“It’s a huge hit here in India, it’s a huge hit around the world, and we realized, wow, interactive storytelling is something we want to bet more on. We’re doubling down on that. So expect over the next year or two, to see more interactive storytelling. And it won’t necessarily be science fiction, or it won’t necessarily be dark. It could be a wacky comedy. It could be a romance, where the audience gets to choose, should she go out with him or him.”

Bandersnatch was a surprisingly captivating adventure for audiences, and part of what made the entire experience so exciting was because we the viewers became directly responsible and involved in the good or bad things happening to Stefan. Not only that, but viewers were integrated into the movie itself and became a silent character in the film (I mean, who can forget the infamous “Netflix” ending).

It will be interesting to see if other interactive stories have the appeal that Bandersnatch did. While the genre of the movie isn’t necessarily important, it was Black Mirror’s unique usage of interactive storytelling that made Bandersnatch something more than a clever gimmick.

Time will tell if that will translate into things like comedies or romance films. However, if they’re able to recapture the fun we all experienced with Bandersnatch, it could become the rise of an exciting new style of movie that sits somewhere between movie and video game. We will be following this story as more news develops on Netflix’s push into interactive stories.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is streaming now, only on Netflix.

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