Roblox with "Stranger Things" Items Vanguards Netflix Invasion
TV, Internet, and gaming are just sides to a multidimensional thing named "pop culture", and sometimes they interact in a strange way. What else, though, should one expect from Stranger Things? In July, Roblox players will be able to obtain new items shaped like those from the third season of this popular Netflix franchise.
Nostalgia and Cross-branding
In fact, the show and the platform have more in common than it seems. First, they both look extremely nostalgic about the 1980s, the last decade without the Internet, being totally Internet-powered themselves. Those born before that have lived through that decade that feels so romantic now, and for millennials it's archeology.
Second, both Netflix and Roblox are separate worlds in their own right: Netflix features thousands of movies and shows, Roblox has millions (no exaggeration) of games. And they are all available within one app or one browser tab.
So, no wonder that these platforms have come to an agreement.
What Stranger Things Brings
According to the official post published on Roblox yesterday, there will be a long giveaway. The quest that started yesterday will last until the Fourth of July, and any solved puzzle or completed quest will bring you a Stranger Things-themed item (or several).
Priah Ferguson returns to her role of Erica Sinclair again in Season 3 (we guess it's not a spoiler anymore). The items she speaks about include the Demogorgon mask and the Scoops Ahoy hat. Both of them will be available until July 18th. Your characters will be able to show it off in genres like Town and City, Adventure, Building, or RPG – that is, the most popular categories on Roblox.
For sure, there will be more themed items, as the season will take long to watch (unless you're enthusiastic enough to view all the episodes in one go). You better watch Roblox's social media, as the platform will drop some clues on its Instagram or Facebook pages. Probably not being 100% necessary, they may save your time.
Enlarge Your Audience
There are surprising effects as well generated by this collaboration. Roblox, despite its nostalgic skins, is popular among children under 14 – that is the audience that's not supposed to watch the original series. And for a reason; though there are many young characters in the show, at its best, it is very scary, really King-ish. Though being a kid in the 1980s, I was into watching forbidden tapes while parents were away, and modern kids have even more ways of cheating with content.
Probably that overlay was caused by very wide Netflix’s initiatives on integrating with the gaming world. It has other shows to promote like this, along with Stranger Things, and it will invade more gaming platforms with styled exclusives and extras.
For example, some Netflix-inspired skins are rumored to appear in Fortnite this year. At the launch of Season 9, some players have already found Scoops Ahoy-based Easter egg.
And, while Roblox users hunt for just separate items, Netflix is developing two games inspired by the series. The first will be released for all existing platforms – iOS/Android, PC/Mac, PS4/Xbox One/Nintendo Switch, and (strange if not) for Apple Arcade and Google Stadia. It will be a 16-bit action game, rather inspired by the 1990s, but the nostalgic aura will remain.
Another gamification will hit mobile platforms only next year. Funny or not, it will be location-based; hope they will not collaborate with Niantic on that, because having a Stranger Things-themed Ingress (like we had with Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite) would be dull. The story of Upside-Down all around us is perfect for implementing as an AR layer of the game, but it also will take immersive gameplay and a twisted narrative.
This collaboration is, of course, an evidence of impact of the show on today’s culture. Ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, toys and bikes, delighted reviews by Stephen King, and gaming obsession. But it’s also a thunderbird’s scream.
Netflix is now definite about entering the gaming industry, and here is the declaration. What we know so far is quite calm, but don't be surprised if things go stranger than stranger.