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Telltale and Netflix trade Minecraft for Stranger Things

Stranger Things have happened

Minecraft and Stranger Things have gone hand-in-hand before, as seen in the official crossover skin pack above, but this deal between streaming megalith Netflix and adventure game studio Telltale (as reported by Techradar) seems a little more direct. Telltale will be adapting their Minecraft: Story Mode games into an interactive, streaming video series for kids on Netflix, while Netflix will be granting the studio the Stranger Things license, presumably to create yet another series of their episodic choose-your-own-adventure games.

The Minecraft side of this deal is the most unusual. While Netflix already has a special section of interactive streaming cartoons for kids, this will mark the first time (as far as I'm aware) that a more traditional videogame has been adapted to the format. Given how simple Minecraft: Story Mode is, it probably shouldn't require too much tweaking and tuning to adapt into video, although a lot of the smaller remembered choices will likely be excised in favour of just letting viewers pick broader branches.

This isn't Telltale's first deal with an HBO TV property either. Cast your minds back to 2014 and the release of Telltale's Game of Thrones series. Granted, it wasn't that great and plans to produce a second season have apparently been put on hold, but it's definitely precedent.  Perhaps Stranger Things, with its more lively and less death-prone cast will make for a more compelling adventure?

The big question now is what form the Stranger Things game/adventure series will take. Apparently Telltale had hoped to make an official tie-in game in parallel with the second season of the TV show, but plans fell through at the time. It does seem like a natural fit, especially with the second season of the show expanding the setting somewhat - I could see any Telltale series continuing the story of Kali and her gang, unless that's already earmarked as a plot hook for a spinoff by HBO.

Telltale have a lot on their docket with this deal. A final season of The Walking Dead is starting soon, and The Wolf Among Us is returning as well. Stranger Things makes at least three full game projects, and the Minecraft: Story Mode adaptation adds yet more to their workload. Here's hoping the studio can spin all these plates. If not, RPS will remember that.

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Dominic Tarason