I’m not a big fan of the episodic content release concept. I understand the so-called benefits but think too many people are jumping on the bandwagon. A nice comparison is that of a magazine and a book.
Reading a magazine is good for some times and some topics but books allow you to become really immersed and I feel that games with good stories deserve a chance for the player to become deeply involved.
As a loyal Valve customer I might be prepared to pay for a game in advance. Allow me to explain.
Why not release One Episode a month that has a minimum of 90 – 120 minutes of gameplay action? The cost is $5 for each episode or $50 paid in advance. The story doesn’t have to been Gordon Freeman, it could be a new character.
“Arh, but the production techniques and processes take longer than a month!”. Yes, I understand that but lots of things can be done if people find solutions for the problems.
The development team could be 3 months in advance, to take account of any f*%kups and other unforeseen problems.
The players get a regular dose of HL gaming and the company gets to keep the money coming in.
To be honest I almost wished I hadn’t played Episode One and waited for all three to be released. I am seriously considering waiting for Episode Two and Three at the same time.
The wait between episodes is too long in my opinion. Just because the time between HL1 and HL2 was 5 years that doesn’t mean we would have had to wait another 5 years for HL3. And even if we did then that’s fine by me, as long as we have the equivalent of Blue Shift and Opposing Force to keep us going.