'It's a broken business'

Thursday 13 July 2006
Mark Rein, vice president of Unreal developer Epic Games, hit out at episodic gaming yesterday, claiming that it was "a broken business".

Episodic gaming is a new way of game distribution that allows publishers to release a game in chapters over a number of months. It's a process that is being used by Half-life developer Valve with its Half-Life 2 episodes and one that is attractive to many game publishers who feel they could use online services such as the Xbox Live Marketplace, to drip-feed games to consumers.

It's a process that Rein is obviously not a fan of, as he declared at yesterday's Develop Conference in Brighton: "I've heard a lot of insane talk about episodic content, very little of it makes any actual sense. It's a broken business."

He then stated that it will be the customer that will lose out as "episodic games that offer faster turnaround will inevitably be using a lot of recycled content, walking through the same environments and shooting the same enemies with the same weapons".

His views weren't shared with sections of the crowd, though, who heckled him, with one attendee calling him a "dinosaur" - presumably not because he has small arms.