Minecraft: Story Mode is coming to Netlfix later this year.
That’s according to an exclusive report from Tech Radar.
That’s not a new TV show, it’s a video game developed by TellTale, the studio behind the popular Walking Dead games.
Of course, whether TellTale makes games or “interactive stories” is up for debate, and Netflix is insisting that the company doesn’t consider this a video game.
“We don’t have any plans to get into gaming,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. ”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. ”
You say tomato, I say tom-ah-to. Whether Minecraft: Story Mode is a game or an interactive story hardly matters. Games are, in essence, interactive stories of one kind or another. And while TellTale’s “choose-your-own-adventure” games may be less gamey than Call of Duty or Super Mario Bros. they’re still games as far as I’m concerned. Call them whatever you like.
Credit: TellTale Games
Minecraft: Story Mode
It doesn’t sound like Netflix is interested in adding gamier games to the streaming service, which is probably for the best (at least for now.) But this could pave the road for lots more interactive stories, whether those are walking simulators like What Remains Of Edith Finch or other TellTale series like The Wolf Among Us. And that’s great. One of the great things about games (even interactive story games) as opposed to TV shows and movies is that they invite us to participate. We aren’t just passively consuming our entertainment, we’re engaging with it.
In any case, Netflix has already expanded into the ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ category with offerings like Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale. I’d love to see them take that effort further and develop full-fledged interactive stories for grown-ups. I’d love some of the old fantasy choose-your-own-adventure books to come to life on Netflix.
In related news, TellTale is reportedly developing a Stranger Things game. Or, well, an “interactive story” version of Stranger Things.
That could be neat, though I think the studio needs to evolve the way it makes games. Other offerings, like Dontnod’s Life Is Strange, have pushed the envelope and TellTale needs to rise to the occasion.