[There have been significant updates to the article after clarifications made by a Netflix representative, all of which can be found at the bottom.]
"I'll have one of those", thought Netflix to itself, seeing Nvidia's GeForce Now program. Indeed, Netflix will soon offer video games along with its existing catalogue of films and TV shows, say sources to TechRadar, and the first one to go up would be the five-parter Telltale series, Minecraft: Story Mode, which will be available later this year.
This offering will be through straightforward video files, and appears to be limited to games with simpler controls and minimal complexity, as is the norm with Telltale games, and will work with any controller with directional and selection buttons. TechRadar also speculates that as a result, certain battle sequences that are present in other versions of the game may be scrapped from the Netflix variant, with other similar modifications necessary for games to work without trouble with, say, televisions.
Sources also say that for telltale signs of what the product would eventually look like, one need look no further than Telltale's games on Amazon's Fire TV platform, such as The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, which work with controls from little more than a television remote, and will ideally require no additional hardware to function fully.
Sources have confirmed that prior to this development, Telltale had also approached HBO - already a partner with the gaming company, given the Telltale take on HBO's Game of Thrones - with this idea, though the televising giant initially turned down the idea given the infancy of the market, and would rather bide its time on the matter.
A final piece of evidence regarding the existence of such a concoction is this listing for a job over at Netflix, with one of the requirements being that the candidate "use games as a marketing tactic to capture demand and delight our member community (ex: Stranger Things: The Game)".
At the moment however, no deal between Netflix and Telltale Games has been made official, though the sources say that an announcement of such a partnership is imminent.
Update: Netflix reached out to us with more specifics, pointing out that it has no intention to get into the "gaming" industry outright, stating that it does acknowledge their increasingly cinematic nature.
It, however, confirmed a partnership with Telltale Games in order to expand its existing roster of interactive content, among them being Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout, and as stated above, Minecraft: Story Mode adaptation will be the first fruit borne of this, come fall.
It further stated that Stranger Things: The Game will be headed to mainstream gaming platforms via Telltale Games in future, and Netflix's role in this will be limited to marketing and promotion.
Here's the statement:
1. We can confirm Minecraft: Story Mode is a licensed 5-episode interactive narrative series coming to our service this fall. It's an extension of our other interactive stories we have on our service like Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout, Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile.
2. The Stranger Things project is launching on the Telltale platform at a later date, not on the Netflix service. It's part of our marketing and title promotion efforts.
3. We don’t have any plans to get into gaming. 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.
There's no word yet on other Telltale titles coming to Netflix, however, so it still isn't certain if this is a one-off or if this may lead to further collaborations between the two parties involved.