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Valve: Episodic game plan may not last

Valve to evaluate development processes once Episode Three is in the bag, Gabe Newell tells CVG

Half-Life 2: Episode Three's release could mark the end of Valve Software's foray into episodic gaming, the developer explaining it'll be at a development crossroads once the finale is out in the wild.

"I think what we really want to do is have a couple of examples out there - Episode One, and how long it was to play and how long it took to develop, Episode Two, Portal and TF2 and then the third part of the trilogy; and then sit down with the community and say, 'OK, so what do you want?'", Valve's Gabe Newell told CVG in an interview set to materialise on these pages soon.

The benefits of episodic releases have included the ability to ship more technology to customers faster than if Valve were still waiting to ship another Half-Life 2-level monolithic project, Newell said. But once Episode Three is out "we just want to sit down with three examples in front of us and talk it over with gamers to find out what they would like us to do next".

"'Do you want us to do more episodes? Do you want us to really tighten down the time frames and look at the scope of what we're doing so that that's possible, for us to go back to the large monolithic projects?'"

Newell went on to explain that he'd also like to spend time with Sam & Max developer Telltale Games to share experiences with the episodic approach, along with Blizzard whose updates for WoW have been like "episodes in an MMO".