'Half-Life 3 would have launched in 2022'

Games, according to Newell, are too big. "For instance, only about 18 percent of Halo 2 's regular online community have actually finished the game," he says. "We think that what people want is to receive more frequent releases.

"In some ways Half-Life 2 was like waiting six years to get a six-foot tall chocolate cake. It's like, OK, there's so much chocolate cake here! In our mind, people would much rather have us spread the chocolate cake out over a little more time."

Above: Half-Life 2: Episode One is five chapters long and takes about four-and-a-half hours to complete

Newell also reckons that episodic gaming gives players access to new technology much sooner. "There's a bunch of technology in Episode One that we can deliver to gamers before our rivals," he explains. Anyone not using this episodic approach "is going to fall further and further behind. They're going to struggle to keep up with the technological advances of people who are doing it this way."

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.