Netflix might be taking on another cross-promotional side project.
Engadget reports that the streaming video provider has launched Infinite Runner, its first original video game.
In the game, you play a character from one of Netflix’s four most popular original series. You can be Pablo Escobar from Narcos, Marco Polo from Marco Polo, Piper Chapman from Orange is the New Black or Mike Wheeler from Stranger Things. Once you pick a character, you start running…and you don’t stop running until you are dead.
— io9 (@io9) January 8, 2017
“Each ‘level’ is set in the world of the show in question, so you’ll jump through the jungles of Columbia with Pablo Escobar and hurdle prison guards as Piper Chapman,” Engadget explains. “The Hawkins National Laboratory also makes an appearance, complete with a low-res version of the Stranger Things theme tune (the same can be said for all shows).”
While the possibility of Netflix delving into the video game market may have some enticing potential — the company clearly knows how to attract creative talent to its original projects — Engadget says Infinite Runner is not anything to get “too excited” about because “the game is very basic.”
The tech website is pretty critical in its brief rundown of the video game.
“Jumping isn’t super responsive and the hitboxes on the non-playing characters are a lot bigger than they need to be, so you’ll likely find yourself restarting the game over and over, at least to begin with,” Engadget says. “But if you’ve got a few minutes spare and fancy trying your hand at Netflix’s new side-scroller, you can get involved here.”
If there are any doubts whether or not the game is legit, Engadget says Netflix did confirm that the game is their project. They noted, however, that they are currently only promoting Infinite Runner through their Spanish and Indian social media accounts.
— KAMSI Magazine (@kamsimag) December 29, 2016
This is not the first time Netflix has dabbled in ventures outside of streaming video.
In 2015, Netflix introduced The Switch, “a prototype all-in-one device that can turn on your television, dim the lights, and fire up your Netflix queue with just the press of a button,” as Fortune described it at the time. The device quickly became referred to as the “Netflix and Chill” button, playing off of “the popular meme that equates Netflix bingeing with a slightly more NSFW activity enjoyed by young singles.”
Infinite Runner may not be the most innovative video game out there, but it would still be interesting to see what Netflix could do with video gaming, especially since the company has so many Marvel connections and is developing so much great original programming of its own.
In fact, Netflix is about to start producing even more original content — a whole lot more.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Netflix is planning to double the amount of original series it produces this year as compared to 2016.
The plan is to add 20 new unscripted series as well as several more scripted series. Netflix currently has 30 original series under its belt. The move is part of a long-term goal for the company to eventually have half of its online library comprised of Netflix originals.
Variety‘s Todd Spangler gave Ultimate Beastmaster, a physical competition reality show produced by Sylvester Stallone and Dave Broome, as an example of the types of unscripted original series Netflix is working on.
Shows like Ultimate Beastmaster are of particular interest to Netflix because they “travel well,” meaning they are more likely to be franchised out to spinoffs in other countries. Ultimate Beastmaster is already slated for production in six different countries — the U.S., Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Germany, and Japan — with different athletes or celebrities hosting the show in each country, the Inquisitr previously reported.
So, Netflix has a pretty full plate right now, but we think there is still room for them to start putting out some video games, too.
[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images]