Valve Undecided on Future of Episodic Content


Whether Valve will stick with the release formula used in its Half-Life 2 episodes remains to be seen, says Valve’s Gabe Newell.

Valve’s episodic content experiment is already in full swing, with the first installment of its follow-up to 2004’s full-length Half-Life 2 having been released last June in a streamlined, four- to six-hour package. According to Valve founder and managing director Gabe Newell, the shorter format of Half-Life 2: Episode One has been well received thus far, but the company’s still waiting to see if gamers will embrace the approach for the rest of the series. In an article by CNN/Money’s Chris Morris, Newell commented, “So far the feedback has been really positive and led me to believe we’ll be continuing to do this in the future, but we want to get these three out, then sit back and do a post mortem.”

Newell related that customer feedback will play an important role in shaping the company’s long-term decisions on release formats. “We’re really interested in trying this, then sitting down with some customers and asking them ‘Do you want a TV series or do you want movies — or a mixture of both?'” Newell commented, “It’s like they’ve had a diet of feature length experiences for a long time and this is their first chance to try something different.”

Half-Life 2: Episode Two is currently due for release in early 2007, with Episode Three to conclude the series sometime later that year. Episode Two‘s release will mark the Half-Life 2 series’ debut for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, and will also include the previously announced Portal and Team Fortress 2 titles

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