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Feature: 'Episodic Gaming in the Age of Digital Distribution'

This latest Gamasutra main feature is extracted from the SIG Video Game Journal analyst newsletter, as Jason Kraft and Chris Kwak look at the arguments surrounding episod...
This latest Gamasutra main feature is extracted from the SIG Video Game Journal analyst newsletter, as Jason Kraft and Chris Kwak look at the arguments surrounding episodic gaming and weigh the advantages and disadvantages, in the hope of simplifying the debate for investors heading into E3. In the following passage, they contend that we already consume episodic content: "We do not believe the distribution methodology defines episodic gaming. That is a function of slicing a story (and the many adjustments this demands) and distributing it to consumers and drawing them in (often via a subscription). We do not believe consuming a game in bite-sized chunks of time defines episodic gaming either. It is our contention here that we already consume games episodically. Simplistically, complete games are structured to be played episodically. That's what the Save and Save and Quit options do for gamers. Episodes are bite-sized mini-games or slices of a whole. But aren't the “The Silent Cartographer” in Halo and “Battle of Stalingrad” in Call of Duty 2 also episodes? Escaping the dungeon in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion felt like a three hour episode. (The giant rats are just dreadful.) One could argue that episodic gaming (generically) has been a mainstay of certain types of PC games (The Sims and MMOGs). Every new release of Madden, NBA 2K, World Soccer Winning Eleven – is a new episode (season) of a game (sport) that persists." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject, including numeric projections of the potential windfall for episodic content (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).

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