Twitch is looking for ways to branch out beyond video games, adding a new interactive show about sneakers to its lineup of original shows just today, but this may be its most difficult bet yet.
Much like Snapchat and Apple, Twitch wants to start making original TV series, but with a slight twist: the company wants to be the first to successfully create and stream a weekly, interactive “choose your own adventure” series. Recode is reporting that Twitch is actively looking for a partner to create the series with and, if found, would start tossing ideas around.
Twitch’s COO, Kevin Lin, told Polygon’s sister site Recode the idea is to use the company’s 100 million monthly viewers — many of whom comment on gameplay streams as they’re happening — to steer the direction of the series. Actors would perform based on answers to prompts given to viewers, telling the story that they want to see.
If that sounds at all familiar it may be due to the fact that Twitch has already played home to similar projects. It all began with Twitch Plays Pokémon which, in February 2014, caused thousands of Twitch users to come together to try and complete a full game of Pokémon Red. Over the course of 16 days of continuous gameplay — and an average concurrent viewership of more than 80,000 people — the game was completed. In December, Twitch Plays Pokémon won the Game Award for Best Fan Creation.
Lin is more than aware of the success and attention Twitch Plays Pokémon brought to the streaming company. The COO told GamesBeat that it was the type of project that could “only exist on Twitch” because of the community and technology presented to users.
“TPP has created its own genre,” Lin told GamesBeat. “By enabling millions of people to collaboratively play a single character in a game, their perceptions of the experience have resulted in a narrative laden with mythological, philosophical, religious, and political overtones that could only happen organically.”
With the success of Twitch Plays Pokémon — and the community reaction to marathons of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross — there’s clearly an avenue for this type of series to succeed. It also makes sense for Twitch’s parent company, Amazon, to invest in the idea. Amazon is also currently looking to create more original series, and with networks like HBO and Netflix looking into interactive, “choose your own adventure” type series, it makes sense Amazon would want to experiment with it on a network like Twitch that has a dedicated audience already built in.