Netflix has announced that a free Pokemon Go-style game based on its zombie TV show Stranger Things will be released in 2020.
The mobile game will integrate Google Maps so players can “explore The Upside Down hidden around them in their daily travels and work with fellow fans to fight back its emerging evils.”
The streaming powerhouse is looking to expand its original shows into other media, and the idea for a Stranger Things video game sprang up after its successful first season, Netflix director of interactive gaming Chris Lee said during a panel discussion at the premier industry gathering known as E3.
“It was like music to my ears,” Lee said. “We are actually hoping to bring people into our franchises through games.”
Stranger Things writers are gamers, as are the show’s characters and many of its fans, so a full-blown title building on adventures in the series was a natural fit, according to show writer Paul Dichter.
The game aims to stay true to the original horror fiction series while adding extra content to the storyline.
“One of the fun parts of taking something so serious as Stranger Things and turning it into a game is we get to latch onto levity and make the most of those moments,” Pottinger said, noting that one of the game character’s fighting skills features hair spray.
Lee revealed that a new Stranger Things role-playing puzzle game for mobile devices will be released next year, and that Netflix is working with Ubisoft, Roblox and Behavior Interactive on games extending characters and worlds from original shows.
He joked that as much as Netflix loves its popular “Black Mirror” series portraying disturbingly dark outcomes of technology, it has no plans in the works for anything based on the new episode “Striking Vipers” – the story of which revolves around two friends who have sexual encounters in a virtual game world.
Lee did reveal, though, that “Stranger Things” will be popping up in “Fortnite” on the heels of an “easter egg” recently spotted in the battle royale video game sensation.
It wasn’t the only video game involvement that Netflix announced at E3 2019, with Nintendo unveiling a tactical Dark Crystal game to tie-in with the streaming company’s reboot of the 80s cult family classic.