Are Episodic Games Good for the Industry?

The selection of upright arcade games for sale used to be your only option when it came to owning your own video game. That isn’t the case anymore.

You can purchase one of many different gaming systems for your home, along with a wide variety of games from all different genres for your entertainment. From puzzle games to action games, there is always a title to keep you interested.

But lately, the video gaming industry is moving down a different path. Combining a mixture of action with storytelling, games are becoming more like a television series: released in episodes. Is this format going to catch on and become the new normal?

The Benefits of Episodic Gaming

At first, video games began to be released in episodes by small, indie publishers who could not receive enough funding to create whole game at once. They would raise the funds to create the first episode of their game concept through crowd sourcing or finding private backers, then the sales from the first installment would finance the second. The cycle could continue until a complete game was released.

This style of game development and production is beneficial to indie publishers who would otherwise find it difficult to produce a game at all. If it weren’t for the episodic format, their game might not exist. They are able to get player feedback on their first episode and apply the changes to later installments, increasing satisfaction from their customers.

It also adds another element to the overall experience. Instead of just focusing on “beating the game,” gamers get drawn into the storyline and are forced to wait to learn about the next plot twist after a cliffhanger ending. It’s exciting and different – maybe just what you’re looking for.

It’s Not Always the Best Format

Traditionally, games are released all at once, with possible minor tweaks made after the fact to the online play platform. For gaming enthusiasts who would rather not be forced to wait to play the entire game, episodes might incite more frustration than pleasure. In addition, you might not want to pay for episode after episode, especially if they are released far apart.

It remains to be seen if the industry will benefit from the episodic format. As of now, larger game developers are experimenting, such as Capcom’s episodic release of Resident Evil Revelations 2. If it catches on, video games might look a lot different in the near future.