Dave Walsh of Explosion.com takes a look at the recent trend in episodic gaming and how it could change the industry as we know it.
Please do not let this happen. Halp Life Ep 3 proved that this is not a good idea. Also I can see this being something like DLC were developers charge what they want instead of what its worth.
The reason behind the failure of the Half Life 2 episodes is because Valve simply took so damn long making each one. The idea behind episodic titles is 'releases with regular, consistent, development times' and Valve simply isn't capable of achieving something like this because, unlike other developers, there are no project leads at Valve getting on anyone's back telling them to work on Episode whatever. Groups of Valve employees work on what they want to work on, whether it's sorting out optimization for Steam or their other titles or just adding a new hat or two to TF2. Episodic gaming can be done right and TWD is - in my opinion - the best example of this. Not only was each episode a simply cracking experience, the time in between each episode was short, and at £20 for the entire season pass (all 5 episodes), I actually felt that Telltale were cheating themselves out of money they'd more than earned. The only problem I can conceivably see with episodic titles is development perhaps slackening or cutting corners in order to meet release schedules, but this in turn could easily be solved by drawing up a solid development plan and sticking to it like a limpet.
Eh, It looks good on paper, but the level of commitment and the rush to meet deadlines. I think valve has shown how poorly this can go, heck episodic gaming invented "valve time"
I kinda like the idea of being able to buy little couple our segments at a time and see it as a way to save money in the long run for me but I can see the bad in this as well. It would be nice if the prices for the episodes stayed stable across all games and also this would work only if the full game was completed by the devs before they release it episodically. I wouldn't want a game not being finished and many buyers that were enjoying a game not being able to finish it just because it wasn't selling well, therefore not worth the devs time to finish making the game.
I can't say I'm overly fond of episodic content. Not unless we're talking Xenosaga-style episodes, where each one is a full game. Otherwise, I don't like the idea of playing part of a game, then waiting weeks before the next part is even available. Just gimme the whole thing at once; gimme a full game and let ME decide how much of it I wanna play.
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