So in the recent history of video-gaming there has been some serious talks about nipping and tucking content. It started with Day1 DLC and similar. Something that most people feel miffed about (but most often to me seemed to be a bored art and asset team putting in a few extra hours.) and while we did not really see the nightmare scenarios materialize. But it is not open to debate that we today have a culture of micro expansions and other forms of DLC in pretty much every game. Enter Telltale Games. The by today crowned masters of episodic content re-wrote much of how games would be released. They proved that a good idea did not need a complete game. Rather they took a cue from TV and told their story in small bite sized chunks.
With this came a new dawn. One we are just seeing the effect of. More and more companies try their hand at carving their games up and selling them ala carte. The biggest names right now being the FF7 reboot and the upcoming Hitman game. Now I have no real problem with this approach as long as the design from the start is to produce the game episodically. Since you really need to have the pacing down to a pat. Each episode having its own narrative structure. To see if Sqeenix can do that with the FF7 game will be interesting, because that game will need all the help it can get. If nothing else it will be a horrid train wreck and we all go back to playing the original.
Now as for hitman you would think the design of the game would make it perfect for episodic content. Make each contract an episode. Fill it out with the overarching story and let the player do them at their own pace. If well designed Hitman contracts have several solutions and paths to said solutions. But here is the thing… The game in question have changed model about twice a day. So to now carve up a game that was not designed for episodic content to begin with can lead to some very awkward storytelling and really poor pacing. It also tells of a really poor confidence in the product. Now going forward this could turn in to a really annoying trend, because companies love to lower the barrier of entry and being able to do so without the stigma of F2P must sound really tempting. But it is also a very different way of making games and I doubt that many companies have the agility and flexibility to pull it off.
But what I look forward the most is when the asset flipping early access trash that populate the dark side of Steam figure out this… Not only will they sell you shit games, but they will sell you shit game chopped up like a game tartar.
That will be glorious.