Trying to expand beyond its streaming video service, Netflix announced at E3 that they would be working with game developer Next Games to create the third mobile game based on its own hit series, Stranger Things.
Stranger Things: The Game will be available on Android and iOS and is expected to launch in 2020. The location-based game, which is a hybrid of role-playing and puzzles, is supposed to let players explore the Upside Down parallel universe hidden around our own daily lives.
“Shortly after season one of Stranger Things, we realized this is a phenomenon. It was our first attempt at doing consumer products and merchandise. We had never done anything like that before,” Chris Lee, director of interactive games at Netflix, said on stage at E3.
Stranger Things 3: The Game also drops July 4, the same day the third season of the show premieres.
Netflix’s Lee said that he saw an opportunity to expand into the gaming industry prior to a meeting with Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer. The group met to discuss all areas of merchandise before the team realized they had untapped potential in gaming.
Says Lee, “The idea is we would take our original series and films and then find a game developer from the industry who’s just as passionate about that content and work closely together with them to bring these things in an authentic way to games.”
The potential for integrating the video game industry and companies focused on other kinds of entertainment, is sure creating a lot of excitement in Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo of America, said that the mixing is a good opportunity for both sides to reach a broader audience.
“I think it’s interesting to see how various forms of entertainment are able to transfer themselves onto other platforms in other ways,” he said. “It’s an exciting opportunity for all of us.”