Previewed this past weekend at Comic Con in San Diego, Telltale’s upcoming Batman serial will include a new multiplayer feature known as ‘CrowdPlay,’ which enables those watching alongside the player to weigh in on dialogue options.
The feature, which is opt-in, generates a short URL and login for audiences to vote from their phones or any web-capable device. Players at the helm can further choose whether to let the audience vote dictate their decisions or to retain the ability to override them.
While Telltale representative Job Stauffer poses this chiefly as an activity for those watching along in groups, say around the family television, it has an obvious potential for streaming as well.
You may remember 2014’s Twitch Plays Pokemon, in which inputs made through a Twitch channel’s chat feature directed onscreen commands to an emulated copy of Pokemon Red — the model proved so successful that it’s spawned an entire genre of Twitch Plays features, playing everything from first-person shooters to, yes, Pokemon Go. Telltale’s method is more concise and less open to the progress-stalling bottlenecks which have become a hallmark of Twitch Plays games, but it appears to be in the same spirit.
Stauffer tells ShackNews that Telltale’s CrowdPlay system can support over 2,000 participants, meaning it can support most streaming crowds, aside from the staggeringly popular ones. And I speculate Telltale can always increase that participant cap if the feature turns out to be a hit with streamers. If anything, that’s the least of CrowdPlay’s barriers on Twitch.
“Livestream platforms inherently come with latency issues of a seven to 10 second delay, but the world is seeing a faster and faster infrastructure built right before our eyes,” Stauffer tells Zam. “We currently have no intention of stopping dialogue to wait for lagged livestream audiences to weigh in, but we expect as time goes on, certain streaming platforms may make this service more viable to be closer to 1:1. […] We also plan to continue to tour the world doing massive CrowdPlay events with [live] audiences in the hundreds or more.”
CrowdPlay launches with the first episode of Batman: The Telltale Series on August 2nd. Check out our E3 preview here!