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Thursday, January 04, 2007

GameTap VP of Content: Episodic games should reflect TV shows

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Rick Sanchez, Vice President of Content at GameTap, outlines his thoughts on the potential of episodic games. After defining episodic content -- regularly scheduled chapters of a game that can stand alone -- he focuses on why this method of game design fits the market.

Sanchez says that the production and life of episodic games could reflect a TV show. When looking for a publisher, developers could create an episodic pilot of a game, like t he TV pilot season allows producers to attempt a variety of shows at a relatively low cost. A publisher could order a series of episodes based on the game pilot, and even more episodes could be schedule based on consumer purchases and feedback.

Sanchez also notes that the casual gamer could support the bite-sized style of episodic publishing. We sometimes avoid -- or don't complete -- 60-hour games because we don't have the time. While we're not casual gamers, we prefer frequently playing a game for a short duration. Does the pick-up-and-play aesthetic inherently relate to gameplay -- like Katamari Damacy or Tetris -- or can chapters of a first-person shooter also fit that ideal?
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