Netflix is taking small steps into the video game market by partnering up with game developers to turn their hit shows into games. And during an E3 2019 discussion panel on June 12, the company sat down to make announcements and talk about their latest projects. One of the projects they mentioned is a new Stranger Things mobile game that is planned for a 2020 release on iOS and Android.
The mobile game, also called Stranger Things, is a collaboration with game developer and publisher Next Games. Known for their location-based Walking Dead mobile games, the company plans to apply a similar Google Maps mechanic to the new game. According to a press release from Next Games, users' gameplay will center on "[exploring] The Upside Down hidden around them in their daily travels and work with fellow fans to fight back its emerging evils."
Stranger Things still keeps many characteristics that are present in the Netflix series. The developers say the aesthetics of the game will be based on '80s cartoons and the "rich and intense themes like friendship and supernatural adventure[s]" will remain ever-present.
This is not the first time Stranger Things has appeared as a game. Netflix previously worked with developers BonusXP to release Stranger Things: The Game for mobile devices in 2017. According to a report from Fortune, the video streaming company is eager to continue collaborating with more video game developers to produce more content for consumers.
"Shortly after season one of Stranger Things, we realized this is a phenomenon," said Chris Lee, director of interactive games at Netflix, during the discussion. "It was our first attempt at doing consumer products and merchandise. We had never done anything like that before."
Netflix also announced two other games with upcoming release dates. Stranger Things 3: The Game is planned to come out for the Nintendo Switch on July 4. The date is no coincidence — it's the same day the third season of the show will begin. Stranger Things 3 is a multiplayer romp (or single player with an A.I. partner) that features 12 characters from the show. Each character will have unique and individual abilities that can help players explore the environment, solve puzzles, and throw down in combat. Players can enjoy the retro, 16-bit look as they figure out secrets within the Stranger Things world.
The second game is based on the upcoming Netflix series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. This game, called The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics, is another Nintendo Switch game that was featured during Nintendo's E3 2019 Direct. With smooth graphics and strategy-based gameplay, fans will be able to go through the events of the series and beyond with customizable allies, abilities, character jobs, and an enhanced difficulty level after finishing the game. It's expected to be released sometime in 2019, though a specific date has yet to be confirmed.
Together with the new Stranger Things mobile game in 2020, Netflix seems to be positioning themselves to steadily release video games throughout the year alongside their shows. If these projects prove to be successful, perhaps Netflix fans can look forward to seeing more games based on their favorite series.