Valve Done With Episodic Model

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It seems obvious to most people by now that the episodic game model simply doesn't work for complex, non-casual mainstream games. There are multiple examples of it flat-out failing – see "Sin". In a new interview with Develop, Gabe Newell has confirmed what everyone believed to be the case with "Half-Life 2": episode installments aren't working. What is a bit puzzling though, is that he states that Valve wants even shorter development cycles. Some unique intellectual property has to be developed at some point, right? Anyway, the interview is an interesting read and provides more insight into what the bigwigs at Valve are thinking.

Here are a few snippets, you can read the entire interview at Develop:

“We went through the episodes phase, and now we’re going towards shorter and even shorter cycles,” Newell said.

The ‘games as a service’ credo is to create games that are platforms in themselves; content that can be rapidly reconstructed through a series of updates.

“For me, ‘entertainment as a service’ is a clear distillation of the episodic content model,” Newell added.

Likely the most popular example of this newer system is Team Fortress 2, a game that since 2007 has received over 200 updates. New weapons, new customisation options and even a in-game market have been added to the game.

“If you look at Team Fortress 2, that’s what we now think is the best model for what we’ve been doing,” Newell said.


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Half-Life 2 Boxart


  • Developer: Valve Software
  • Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games
  • Genre: FPS
  • Release Date: January 28, 2015
  • Link: The Official Site
  • ESRB Rating:

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