Valve has concluded its experiment with episodic game content, the studio’s president has said.
Gabe Newell told Develop that the episodic development philosophy has been replaced wholesale by the ‘games as a service’ model.
“We went through the episodes phase, and now we’re going towards shorter and even shorter cycles,” Newell said in an interview published in Develop magazine issue 116.
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.
“Our updates and release model on [Team Fortress 2] keeps on getting shorter and shorter.”
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