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Netflix is planning more interactive storytelling, starting with ‘Black Mirror’

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Black Mirror is on our list of the best TV shows you can find on Netflix, but not everyone is a fan of the frequent less-than-happy endings the show is known for. For one episode in the upcoming fifth season of the show, you’ll be able to choose exactly how the show ends, as Netflix is planning an interactive episode of the show that lets viewers choose how the story goes, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg says the Black Mirror episode is one among a slate of interactive specials that Netflix has planned. According to the sources, Netflix already has a similar deal in place for at least one other live-action show, and is negotiating the rights to others.

This isn’t the first time that Netflix has tried this type of interactive storytelling, but it is the first time that it is trying it with programming aimed at adults. The company has already used this technique for children’s programming with the Shrek spin-off Puss in Book, which lets the viewer choose whether the show’s main character fights a god or a tree.

Netflix has also been reported to have a version of Minecraft: Story Mode in the works that functions differently than the video game does on other platforms, but tells the same story. This project was helmed by developer Telltale Games, which recently laid off most of its staff, but the show was reportedly mostly finished and is still planned to be released later this year.

The Minecraft spin-off isn’t the only video game adaptation that Netflix is reportedly planning, though what the other titles may be is still unknown. This type of narrative is unsurprisingly more complicated to make than a traditional TV show, as the script is longer and writers need to take all the various branching paths into account. This also means that writers and producers expect to be paid more, which makes the overall production more expensive, so it’s likely that for the time being we’ll see this technique used for single episodes and specials, as trying to follow this over a multi-episode arc would be dramatically more complex.

There is no word on when the upcoming season of Black Mirror will be released, but the show often premieres in December.

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