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New Borderlands project is a massively multiplayer interactive streaming series

In Borderlands EchoVision Live, viewers decide the outcome together

artwork from Borderlands: The Handsome Collection Image: Gearbox Software/2K Games
Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

The people at Gearbox do love a brand extension, and the next expansion of the Borderlands universe — assuming it beats the troubled movie to market — will be in the novel form of an interactive series in which the whole audience decides the outcome.

Borderlands EchoVision Live will tell the story of eight hapless tourists who think they’ve paid for an exhilarating but safe “adventure safari” on Eden-6, the home of weapons manufacturer Jakobs Corporation, as previously seen in Borderlands 3. Naturally, it goes wrong, and the group ends up stranded in a town called Greywater Junction, surrounded by threats on all sides. Which of them will prevail and become future Vault Hunters?

That’s up to you (plural) to decide. Borderlands EchoVision Live will run on a platform developed by a company called Genvid Entertainment, which develops what it calls massively interactive live events, or MILEs. In these interactive narrative series, the entire viewership takes collective decisions to determine how the story will unfold, and experiences a “collective shared outcome,” in the words of the press release.

If this format sounds familiar, that might be because Genvid signed a deal to develop a similar Silent Hill series, Silent Hill: Ascension, as part of Konami’s big push to reinvigorate its horror franchise. Polygon’s interview with Genvid CEO Jacob Novak about that project will give you some idea how these massively multiplayer interactive series will unfold.

Borderlands EchoVision Live has no release date, and there’s no word yet on how fans will be able to access it beyond its website. But you can sign up there to find out more when the time comes.

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