Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey will be split into an episodic series in response to budget and timeline concerns.
Creative director Ragnar Tornquist gave the news in an update to the game's Kickstarter page. Though it originally conceptualized as an episodic series - hence the title - his studio Red Thread Games decided against it before launching the crowdfunding campaign in April 2013.
"The creative process is unpredictable, however, and the story we're telling has turned out to be bigger and more ambitious than first envisioned," Tornquist wrote. "We're not on track to meet the release date we estimated a year and a half ago, and we've had to take a long, hard look at our schedule and budget."
Reflecting the game's episodic origins, the story was already divided into five separate books with their own narrative arcs. The first book titled "Reborn" will release individually on PC in autumn.
"By releasing Book One this autumn, we hope to start generating income, all of which will go right back into improving the quality and scope of subsequent books," Tornquist said. "And by dividing our work into five standalone releases, we're able to give each book the focus, polish and attention it needs."
Shipping the entire game in one product would have required "deep cuts", including cutting out whole storyline, characters, and locations. He said it still wouldn't have made its original November release date.
With the new layout, Tornquist anticipates each book will take several hours to play and the overall experience will "definitely be longer than initially estimated."