"Twitch Plays" are fun because they allow an entire community to feel like it's playing a single-player game together. The premise is pretty simple: one person loads up a popular single-player game, Pokemon Blue or Dark Souls, for example, and at pretty much every instance where a gameplay decision has to be made, the game pauses and the community as a whole votes on which action the player should take. Typically the majority vote decides, but sometimes the player will retain control and weigh the votes him or herself. Telltale thinks that system would be perfect for its narrative-driven adventures, and we agree.
Telltale's upcoming Batman series will be the first to implement this democratic multiplayer system. "Now, from two to 2,000-plus people can help the player make decisions," Telltale's communications boss Job Stauffer said (via Gamespot). "We are now turning all of Telltale's games into a live interactive multiplayer experience." Enabling the new crowd play feature will provide players with a unique URL that viewers can use to participate in the game by voting certain actions or dialogue choices up or down. Players will be able to set the game up so that majority community choices are selected automatically, or else hold on to the decision making power themselves. This is a fantastic move from Telltale, but it remains to be seen how it might impact sales. If more people are viewing the narrative and deriving a sense of participation from the crowd play feature, what incentive is there for them to go buy the game afterward?