Remedy: Time Not Right For Episodic Gaming
Episodic gaming is becoming more prolific, the charge being led by the likes of Telltale Games, and the idea certainly has merit. It allows for a different flow to the narrative and gameplay, as well the adoption and alteration of mechanics as the series progresses, depending on the critical reception of each consecutive piece, among other benefits. But Osaka Häkkinen of Remedy Entertainment insists that the gaming industry, or rather the consumers of games, are not yet ready to embrace this method of creation and distribution. Speaking with Digital Spy, he had the following to say:
“In terms of episodic delivery, I just don’t think that we’re there yet as an industry, that you know, gamers are ready to consume video games on a weekly basis. To get the latest episodes like they do with TV. I think they want it all right here, right now.“
The idea of gaming being powered by instant gratification is nothing new, but the lengthy tales that can be told by games do lend themselves to the format, and the folks at Remedy see this as Häkkinen went on to say that it is a method that they will continue to use after the comparative success of Alan Wake and their reasoning for doing so:
“I think, you know, for us it’s about always doing something other people haven’t done before, pushing the envelope in storytelling in video games. Now with American Nightmare the story is definitely much lighter than we had done before, but it’s made for the medium. We wanted to do something for Xbox Live Arcade, we hadn’t done that before, we wanted to try something. But at the same time we’re very conscious that it’s made for the medium and people are looking for something a lot more easily approachable. It’s not a boxed game.
“But making games episodically is something that’s very much, we have found, a great tool for making stories in video games and we will continue to do that.“
So long as there are developers willing to test the waters with their attempts to tell stories, I’ll continue to sing their praises. Episodic gaming is just one of many ways, and we’ll all see where it leads in the future.