Saturday, June 24, 2006

Episodic content - not the holy grail for game releases

Ok, so far we have two games that have been converted to releasing of episodes: Half-Life 2 Episode 1 and SiN Episode 1. They are both available on Steam. Regarding SiN Episode 1 I still have to play it.

Valve had originally said that they will be releasing HL2 episodes every 6 months, but I've already read somewhere that the release date is Spring 2007. Now that isn't really 6 months away is it? I'm already not impressed by what I saw in HL2 ep 1, however Valve are promising that episode 2 will have something new. Sincerely I don't care much about either the G-man or the Vortigaunts. I remember in HL1 trying to kill the G-man but obviously they didn't attach any bullet collision detection with his mesh. Ok the story telling done by Valve is nice, but heck give me some new gameplay. It wasn't worth the 20$ IMHO. Maybe 10$ would have been better *grin*

I don't think episodes will become a major way of releasing games. They could have named HL2 episode 1 anything, HL players would have still bought it. Ideally the publishers should release an episode every 3 months. 6 months is too much (let alone a year). Gamers will soon learn that they play games to experience new challenging gameplay. If you give them the same gameplay but with an extension to the story they will get bored. There's already a statistic that only 22.75% have finished episode 1 although Valve has said that this could be a bug in their statistic collection. If new episodes just mean more story telling, I prefer buying the season of 24 or X-files rather than a 5hr game with no new gameplay.

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