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Netflix's strategic move into the video game industry is the company's third and most ambitious act yet. It makes sense since they have been gradually shifting towards interactive entertainment with their Stranger Things tie-in game in 2017 and the interactive drama Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in 2018.

Their push into gaming is seen as a response to the rise of streaming rivals affecting their growth, having publicly identified video games as its biggest competition in the fight for attention, stating in the 2019 earnings report that it competes with (and loses to) Fortnite more than HBO.

The focus on "transmedia storytelling" is huge, and will significantly impact the future of entertainment. Transmedia storytelling refers to the practice of telling a story across multiple media platforms or media formats, where each platform contributes to a larger narrative. It involves creating a cohesive and interconnected experience for the audience, where they can engage with the story through different mediums.

For those of us in interactive and immersive technology who spent the majority of our careers in film and television, this is exciting because it combines our experience and craft in filmmaking with our real time and interactive design technology skills to provide:

  • Enhanced Immersion:  Enabling the audience to engage with the story in various ways, deepening their connection and investment in the narrative.
  • Expanded Storytelling Potential: Allowing for the exploration of different aspects and characters within a story world and delving deeper into the narrative, revealing new plotlines, backstories, and perspectives, which can greatly enrich the overall experience.
  • Audience Engagement and Participation: We can actively involve the audience in the storytelling process. It encourages participation, interaction, and collaboration, fostering a sense of community and co-creation among the audience members.
  • Brand Extension and Revenue Generation: Transmedia storytelling provides opportunities for brand extension beyond a single medium by leveraging the popularity of a story or franchise to expand into different forms of media, merchandise, and licensing, thereby generating additional revenue streams.

With the continued advancements in UE5, and the wearable technology market starting to develop, the way we engage with content is going to evolve. At Zebrar, we could not be more excited to be right here, right now, creating that content!