AAA Games Should Not be Episodic
With the changing times of the gaming industry we continue to see various models of game releases pop-up. This includes things like free to play, early access and episodic games where it has become less about full experiences and more about partial releases. Episodic does work to some degree when it comes to titles such as Life is Strange and the Telltale titles being excellent examples. Still, I appreciate playing a full game all at once instead of having to deal with month long breaks in between content. It's frustrating as they always give you a cliff-hanger and the game is never fresh in your mind when going back to play the next portion of gameplay. This creates a break in interest for players and really divides the story up in a way that disrupts the narrative in most cases.
Most notably the latest Hitman title has been announced as a full AAA episodic title with live packages released monthly and the game itself split into mission chunks. It's quite odd to see a game broken down to buy portions of it and a full option, it seems more like this is about funding the game instead of providing it all at once. This model may work to some extent for story based games which are split in order to make fully separate entries that connect so that they can fully flesh them out. Though for AAA games it really doesn't make sense that these companies can't properly fund a full experience at launch and need some funding or more time to finish the game. Many players like myself also like to sit there and just play through a story in order to be fully immersed in the experience. When it comes to the large games these days they seem to really be cutting back on content in order to release things digitally after and that's mostly fine for multiplayer which can be added to after. I just find it a bit of a crime to split the campaign portions of games since that's supposed to be a focused and strong aspect of a title. While you may only play a campaign once depending on how good the campaign is, I expect each game that provides a campaign to bring a finished product to the table. While this may be considered an experiment for Square Enix I honestly can't see too many individuals enjoying a Hitman game being split like this as players just want to play a full game. Hopefully this doesn't become a trend in the industry as it could get quite annoying waiting months to just finish a singular title instead of just having a good time with it at once. It will be interesting to see if the model works for the game or if it causes problems for the game by splitting it up. For those that want the full package, the content will eventually be released together at the end of the episodic season.