YouTube debuted the trailer today for his first interactive original show, a special starring gaming personality Markiplier with which viewers lead him through a robbery. The show debuts on October 30 and contains a total of 61 videos that lead to 31 possible endings.
Interactive shows made by the creator have been on YouTube for more than ten years, the first being dependent on YouTube's outdated annotation function to allow viewers to make choices and move on to a new video. Markiplier has even made its own copy earlier, with a series from 2017 called A date with Markiplier that can bring viewers to 10 possible endings.
This new show, A robbery with Markiplier, differs only to the extent that it is funded by and made for YouTube's Originals program, which makes the production look a lot more flashy. YouTube said in April that it was starting to invest in interactive series, although it did not provide details about what was going on.
YouTube has made a number of important changes to its Originals program this year, reducing apparent productions, refocusing content choices and opening it up to a wider audience. New YouTube Originals no longer need a YouTube Premium subscription to watch them and many existing shows are cycled behind the payment wall so that more viewers can see them.
Interactive shows have received great interest in the past year, largely thanks to Netflix. Last December Netflix debuted the interactive Black Mirror: Bandersnatch too much buzz. Netflix later debuted an interactive Bear Grylls show, and continued to expand interactive programming beyond children's shows.
Since it is already a much more interactive platform, the originals of Choose Your Own Adventure style should feel relatively at home on YouTube. And now that viewers do not have to pay to view YouTube Originals, they may reach many more viewers.