This past weekend, Netflix gifted fans with an innovative new project, the ‘Black Mirror’ special event ‘Bandersnatch’ an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure movie. Reaction on social media has been massive, but not all of the buzz has been positive. It turns out that a large percentage of Netflix subscribers couldn’t access it. Specifically, the interactive elements were incompatible with Apple TV, Google Chromcast, and the Amazon Fire Stick.
Obviously, fans weren’t amused and took to social media to vent.
Oh. “Bandersnatch” won’t even play on AppleTV? Never you mind, then.
— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) December 28, 2018
Y’all I don’t think Apple TV supports #Bandersnatch and if that’s true then I demand justice.
— Topher Payne (@topherpayne) December 28, 2018
So the interactive component of Bandersnatch is inoperable via AppleTV, the mechanism many (most?) people would use to watch. Lovely.
— John Oursler (@JMOursler) December 28, 2018
I’m not sure about “most” but there are a ton of Apple TV users, as that is one of the best ranked of all the streaming devices. On the flip side, ‘Bandersnatch’ does work on Roku, which is perceived a lower-end product. The interactive aspects of ‘Bandersnatch’ were created using the programming language Twine. It appears that this is the issue for Apple TV, Chromecast and Fire Stick, as they don’t support Twine.
There is also a strong possibility that this could be a proprietary decision that Netflix just won’t admit to. When users of these other devices attempt to access ‘Bandersnatch’ they are greeted by a two-minute supercut of characters in past episodes of ‘Black Mirror’ saying “Sorry.” So not only does the movie not work for these other devices, but Netflix or the producers of ‘Black Mirror’ purposefully created a custom video? Seems a bit harsh, if not outright petty.
At any rate, there is an alternative, although it isn’t ideal. Users of Apple TV, Chromecast and Fire Stick can access ‘Bandersnatch’ though their computers, tablets and phones. But they cannot stream it through these devices and run those through their TV.
Were you able to enjoy ‘Bandersnatch’ this weekend? If so, how did you like the interactive elements?