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Valve: We chose the wrong word in 'episode'

Conjures up weekly TV analogies, says Doug Lombardi

Valve's Doug Lombardi has said that the dev may have made a mistake in choosing the word 'Episode' for the Half Life 2 run of games.

"The notion of the word 'episode' conjures up this idea of television where you get something new every week. And people say 'we thought that episodic meant we were going to get something new every six months or every year'," Lombardi recently told us.


But shorter games are the way forward though, Lombardi maintained. "I think a lot of folks in the games industry saw the same problem that we did with Half Life 2 in that making a 20-hour game with rich graphics, story etc. is a really expensive proposition both in time and money.

"And some have started making games about the same length as Episode II, but they haven't changed what they call it, and they haven't change the price."

He added, "In a way you're charging people $50 but they're only getting $18 worth out of it - that's not necessarily the best way to go. But if you look at something like Portal, it's a five hour game and although I haven't done a qualified study, the number of people I've spoken to that finished the game feels like a much higher percent.

"So I think we tried to be a bit more honest about it, and maybe we chose the wrong word in 'episode' in that it conjured up this TV analogy," he concluded.

Look out for the full interview on CVG over the weekend.