By Jason Saundalkar
Episode approach to games up for review after Half Life 2: Episode 3
Gabe Newell, the co-founder and managing director of Valve, has revealed that the company will examine whether or not to continue on with its episodic gaming approach after Half Life 2: Episode 3 is released.
Episodic games are essentially short games released in succession that form a coherent series. Whereas continuity between one episode and the next is not mandatory, in most cases, characters, settings and themes stay the same.
Valve has employed its own online content distribution system, known as Steam, to distribute episodic games in addition to using traditional distribution means. Valve's Half Life 2 Episode 1 & 2 and Ritual Entertainment's Sin Episodes are some of the most recent episodic games.
Newell claims his company will evaluate what works and what doesn't after Half Life 2: Episode 3 is released and will also consider gamers' thoughts on the subject. "We're going to sit down with the community and say: okay, so what do you want? Do you want us to do more episodes? Do you want us to really tighten down the time frames and look at the scope of what we're doing so that it is possible for us to go back to the large monolithic projects?" said Newell in an interview with CVG (Computer and Video Games).
Newell also went on to explain that he'd also like to spend time with Sam & Max developer Telltale Games to share experiences of the episodic approach and Blizzard, whose updates for World of Warcraft have been, Newell claims like "episodes in a Massively Multiplayer Online game".