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Kaz32

Does episodic games need to make us wait?

23 posts in this topic

Yay! Resident Evil Revelation 2's first episode has finally been released! So is the next episodes which will be released in a weekly basis. Until finally the whole retail game which has all the episodes are released in 18 - 20 March. Damn, if that's the case, might as well just wait for that one instead of buying each episodes separately, but still, that's a great gap for each episodes. Not overly long like Telltale games usually are.

Anyway, look at games like Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us, D4, Game of Thrones, Tales from the Borderlands and Life is Strange. All of them have such a loooong gap for each new episodes release. Like, why? Is that really necessary? That just makes me really anxious for those episodes and make me check the release date every day. Eventually for people like me, we will just wait for all the episodes to be released and then just buy all of them and play them when the final episodes are released.

Drakerider, Ghost Trick and the Ace Attorney iPhone games has the right practice for this. These games are all episodic. In those games, all of the episodes are available right away on day 1. Episode 1 is free for you to play. After you finish it, you can decide if you want to buy the rest of the episodes or not. You don't have to wait for months just for the rest of the episodes to be released, not like these other episodic games that makes you go "NOOOOOOOO! I WANT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!!" And you have to wait like 1 year for them.

Why not just release every single episodes in a single day, and make it so that the first episode is free or really cheap, like $1, and have the rest of the episodes ready for you to buy if you like the first episode? What do you guys think? Should episodic games just release everything on day 1 and have us decide to buy the entire game based on the first episode? Or is it better if you just wait a long time for all the episodes to be released?

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I don't think your idea is a viable strategy for publisher's pr. I mean, it's not a bad idea, but from a company standpoint i think it's a big risk, and we're talking about an industry wich doesn't really want to take a risk. To put some hype beyond a videogame, using the usual tv format is a really good way, they nourish the hype for the next episode so they know they're gonna sell it.
Again, i agree with you but sadly we don't live in a perfect world.
Disclaimer, my experience about episodic games is only about Game of Thrones, i don't know anything about the iPhone games you mentioned so feel free to prove me wrong if i'm mistaken.

Kaz32 likes this

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I never was bothered by the fact that I had to wait a long time for Telltale, always though that it was part of the deal because you know, they are adapting a TV Show and if you are doing it like a TV Show, you don't want the players to have everything from day one but I will admit it, Telltale should wait until they finished the game before they release the game because yeah, waiting for the next episode can be so looooooooooooooooong

Kaz32 likes this

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Well, regrettably theyre adapting the TV show formula to these games so yes, episodic games do need to make us wait. Releasing all episodes at once would be great but, im sure it would lead to lower sales in the long run for them.

The time people have to wait though. I mean I understand the games are going through "active development" but, does that mean they work on one episode at any one time only and then they move on to the next? Shit... Im no big fan of these types of games, the only ones I have are the walking dead ones but, I wait until the whole season is up and I get them when theyre on sale only. Paying full price for that? Yeah no.... And I also have Life is Strange but, I bought that by mistake and im waiting here like a dumbass for the next episode, what were the characters names even? Its been a while, I forgot.

Props to Capcom for making people wait only one week per episode of RE Revelations 2 though, they deserve that. I could take a week over month or months but, im still going to wait for the full retail release anyhow. Im glad you just snatch up the games when a season is out completely so you dont have to wait per episode OP, youre a smart man. May you do that when said game is on sale so you save a little money too.

Kaz32 likes this

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I don't think your idea is a viable strategy for publisher's pr. I mean, it's not a bad idea, but from a company standpoint i think it's a big risk, and we're talking about an industry wich doesn't really want to take a risk. To put some hype beyond a videogame, using the usual tv format is a really good way, they nourish the hype for the next episode so they know they're gonna sell it.

Again, i agree with you but sadly we don't live in a perfect world.

Disclaimer, my experience about episodic games is only about Game of Thrones, i don't know anything about the iPhone games you mentioned so feel free to prove me wrong if i'm mistaken.

I can see what you mean for small named companies behind D4 and Life is Strange, but for Telltale? Why afraid of risks? They're Telltale games! They're already very successful and their past games are all excellent! Walking Dead is a game of the year, Wolf Among Us is great, and Tales from the Borderlands' first episode is really good, and it is a great sequel for Borderlands 2! They should just have more confident and just release all the episodes in one go. Who knows, maybe episode 2 till 5 will be released all at the same time? Most likely not but man, that'll be a huge great surprise.

The iPhone games I mentioned are pretty successful. I mean it's Ace Attorney, lot's of people buy the entire episodes after they play the first trial, including me. Very few games for the iPhone do this practice. Most like Telltale games and this one called Republique, the game that uses Watch Dog's idea and it's really well done, are normal "wait for months and bite your nails till we release the episode" games. There should be more that does it.

Props to Capcom for making people wait only one week per episode of RE Revelations 2 though, they deserve that. I could take a week over month or months but, im still going to wait for the full retail release anyhow. Im glad you just snatch up the games when a season is out completely so you dont have to wait per episode OP, youre a smart man. May you do that when said game is on sale so you save a little money too.

Out of all the dumbass dlc or whatever decisions Capcom has made, this is so far the only right thing they have done. I'll do that for Revelations 2 and Tales from the Borderlands. I already bought the entire Life is Strange season pass cause it's so damn good. Arrrrghhh! I can't wait too long damn it!!

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Isn't Killer Instinct for Xbox One does the same thing? They released returning chars from KI1 on the release date and then Double Helix decided to release a batch of characters (one of them returning from KI2) by a year and they called it Season 2. How much money would you spend on this upgrade?

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Isn't Killer Instinct for Xbox One does the same thing? They released returning chars from KI1 on the release date and then Double Helix decided to release a batch of characters (one of them returning from KI2) by a year and they called it Season 2. How much money would you spend on this upgrade?

I don't have an Xbox One so I can't say, but Killer Instict's "Seasons" is more like a new character dlc than an episodic content, or more like a new update of the game like what Street Fighter do.

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For me I want to see more episode style releases. If the game is solid in execution I tend to get excited for the next episode. In my mind, I don't see an issue with waiting because I am use to waiting for the next episode of a tv show. 

 

If anything I would love to see a game with the Order 1886 graphics but in the same vein as the first two seasons of Supernatural. Players are tasked with identifying, researching, exploring, and building out a plan to take down the monster of the month. Make each episode open ended where there are more than one way of succeeding and failing that carries to the next episode. 

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I personally don't like this kind of thing. They should just hold off the release until everything is available. It's inconvenient IMO. I realize that people just want to play the game even if it's just a taste of it, I mean I do too, but making us wait afterwards is just a hassle. 

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I have no issue with episodic games. What I do have an issue with is what Telltale is doing right now. Releasing Tales From the Borderlands EP. 1, then doing GoT EP. 1-2, not having finished the Borderlands series. That infuriates me. I like the idea of a GoT Telltale game, but ONE. SERIES. AT. A. GOD. DAMN. TIME.

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I don't think episodic release is a problem. The problem is the time between releases. If they're going for a TV style release schedule then complete all episodes and release them weekly OR monthly on a set date so you know when to expect it.

I have only played Walking Dead S1&2 and I bought them as complete seasons but have heard complaints about the erratic release schedule for telltale episodes.

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It's probably a better way to do it over a longer period of time, both for players and for the developer. The developer is able to get a steady source of income which is going to be important for the smaller studios or indies who usually do this (not including Square's Life Is Strange), while also taking feedback from players/reviews into account, and they are able to take the time they need with each episode (Kentucky Route Zero would be an example, with only the third episode releasing last year). It also allows players to try the game out at a cheaper price and if they didn't want to buy it all at once nothing stops them from waiting until the full game is out, a lot of times they can also get it at a much cheaper price like with The Walking Dead Season 2.

 Releasing Tales From the Borderlands EP. 1, then doing GoT EP. 1-2, not having finished the Borderlands series. That infuriates me.

Do they not have different teams or at least different writers on each game?

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Definitely. There's no way I'm going to buy any Telltale title until I have at least a whole season to play. By the time a new episode comes out I'd already have forgotten the previous one.

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revelations 2 is done in episodes? well that settles everything, thanks for letting me know.

 

not going to buy this game. the hell with capcom, the hell with resident evil games. done and dusted. the franchise is officially dead.

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It's probably a better way to do it over a longer period of time, both for players and for the developer. The developer is able to get a steady source of income which is going to be important for the smaller studios or indies who usually do this (not including Square's Life Is Strange), while also taking feedback from players/reviews into account, and they are able to take the time they need with each episode (Kentucky Route Zero would be an example, with only the third episode releasing last year). It also allows players to try the game out at a cheaper price and if they didn't want to buy it all at once nothing stops them from waiting until the full game is out, a lot of times they can also get it at a much cheaper price like with The Walking Dead Season 2.

I get that if it's for small name companies, but Telltale games is extremely succesful right now, they already have a lot of income from the past games they have released already. Most players immediately buy the full game and just wait for months till all the episodes are out, so it's all the same in the end! So it's better to just have all of them released on day 1, have the first episode really cheap or free, and let the rest of the episodes bought in full. That only cost $15 - 20 for the iphone games I mentioned.

I will prefer if the games have long waiting time because they are in seasons, like D4. Not one episode at a time. Like imagine if Walking Dead's first season are released all at once in 1 day, and then season 2 comes in months after. Much more reasonable.

 

Speaking of episodic games, Republique for the PC is finally out. I know you've been waiting for that game, enjoy!

 

revelations 2 is done in episodes? well that settles everything, thanks for letting me know.

not going to buy this game. the hell with capcom, the hell with resident evil games. done and dusted. the franchise is officially dead.

The full game's available next month. Besides, the game's actually pretty good. Claire and Barry's in the game after years of absense, which is great. Even her voice actress is still the same as in her first appearance in 2.

And it's good practice that new episodes are released after one week instead of months. I still prefer just having the entire game released at once since delaying the episodes just makes people say "HURRY UP ALREADY, I WANT TO PLAY THE NEXT EPISODE NOW!" But at least I don't have to wait for 11 months until all the episodes are released.

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I generally hate waiting for parts of a game to get released. So i simply wait until all episodes are released before playing it.

I guess you could say that for me the game doesnt get released until the last episode, so for me the time between the episodes doesnt really make much of a difference.

Ixnatifual and AlShareef114 like this

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I think it's all marketing and to create hype as Orpo said. And since these games are like TV shows, it works very much similar.

 

They release a episode, make a great story out of it, make a tense ending and it makes you really want to play the next episode and that just creates a huge hype and when they release the episode, tons and tons of people buy it that moment. It's a very effective business model. 

 

I don't think they will change that any time soon. So far I think it works great for them. :P

Kaz32 likes this

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I think it's all marketing and to create hype as Orpo said. And since these games are like TV shows, it works very much similar.

 

They release a episode, make a great story out of it, make a tense ending and it makes you really want to play the next episode and that just creates a huge hype and when they release the episode, tons and tons of people buy it that moment. It's a very effective business model. 

 

I don't think they will change that any time soon. So far I think it works great for them. :P

But it makes me wanting to play the next episode! I hate that feeling! :wacko:

 

Here's what I don't really get about the "creates a huge hype and when they release the episode, tons and tons of people buy it that moment" idea. Most people bought the complete game either at the start or after playing the first episode, so for those kind of people like myself, all this waiting does is make us just want to throw our money to our computer screen begging to them to just take our money and give us all the episodes already. Plus in the end, doing episodic games like this doesn't guarantee more income. In fact it's pretty much the same as just releasing the full game at once, since people will talk about the game anyway and recommend it to people. All that matters to guarantee sales are 2 things:

 

Big marketting,

 

and star power, or the company's reputation.

 

That's why Destiny makes millions even though it's just one lameass dissapointment, and that's why Call of Duty and GTA games are guaranteed to be the biggest games when they're released. They have giant ass marketting so everyone will go buy the games, and the developers are giant names.

 

We shall see. Maybe eventually they'll do a Five Nights at Freddy's 2 by releasing episodes really early and unexpectedly, and hopefully release a lot of them in one go.

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*Crotchety old (30 something) man* Back in MY day we just called them "expansion packs"!

 

Considering I am STILL waiting for Half Life 2: Episode 3...no, I am not a big fan of the episode model.

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I think it comes down to what it means to play such games that episodic games bring. Think about the options you make. Each episode has to cater to all the possible choices that may have been made in "each" of the episodes. Such as in game of thrones in the first episode you have to decide whether or not to send one of the main characters to the wall or have him refuse and stay. It makes a change there and one that will domino into something else. Some episodes end up being actually longer then one thinks because of these options, at least if your one who wants to explore for the best possible options. >:/ For those who played the first GOT you know what I'm talking about concerning that ending that could no be changed no matter what option you took.

 

Of course the other factor is they are working on more then one game at once. I do feel it would be better for them to work on a single one to completion and then focus on other projects unless they get a bigger team that can work about it. Though in my case I have other games I can play until the other episodes come out so it doesn't really bother me all too much.

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I agree, I'm going to eventually do a video of a show I'm starting called "TargetAnalysis" on my youtube channel about this, but let me throw my initial thoughts here. There are several advantages for companies to stretch out the release dates which kind of is anti-consumer, but mostly because it does not offer an advantage for the consumer but instead takes advantage. How I see it, if you release parts of a game periodically, it enourages several consumer behaviors. I'm just going to list two here:

!) It encourages users to buy digitally. More money goes to the publisher because we can only get the episodes digitally, or are all too lazy to switch out disks in our machines when we could just buy a digital episode for the same price.  We could potentially wait for the "disk bundle pack" but by that time, all our friends have already played and forgotten the game. Most of the time the game has ceased to be relevant, and now the company is getting a full retail package sale of assets they have developed and marketed for years now. This brings me to my second point.

2) It is free advertising. If a game releases episodically, it will be the buzz of the week several times for several months span. How many people talk about whenever there is a new episode from the games you first mentioned? A ton. That is a ton of marketing done basically for free. Furthermore, say your talking to your friend about how epic episode 4 is. That friend has yet to play the game, but since you bought it digitally, you can't just lend him the disk (I'm assuming this because only episode 4 is out, and I'm assuming its release week). That friend is not going to pick up episode 4 alone, but buy and play episodes 1-3 as well. Your word just sold four episodes to someone who probably was not going to invest in the game. Heck, when they finally bundle the episodes on a disk, that AGAIN puts the games name in the news, and gets people talking about it again.

These are the major two advantages to episodic content that I have deduced. Now, I don't think that Telltale is going to give up their successful business model, especially since I believe the reasons I gave seem to be a huge advantage to the developer with little cost to the consumer (only cost is patience). Thanks for the read, and I hope this helped you understand a different perspective. I feel like I've let most of the cat out of the bag of my video, but hey, I'm going to think more about this topic and make a video on it in the future.

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My god, you remember waiting for The Walking Dead episodes? That was hell, man! I guess it was because they were making the episodes in those monthly gaps. Still, that was torture. Especially for Season 2... Don't think it was as bad for Wolf Among Us, but I don't remember. Also, I like the Ace Attorney mention! Although, not ALL Ace Attorney episodes were released in the game... In fact, there was an episode in the first game that wasn't released until years after the last one (in the main saga.) If you're a big AA fan like myself you'd know why that is how come it was like that. But yeah, I think the gaps are so huge because the developers are actually making the episodes in them, with help from user feedback.
 

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I don't understand why episodic games are gaining so much traction, especially when TV is moving away from it in favor of binge watching.

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