Kojima says episodic content could solve next-gen challenges

Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima says developers could release TV-style "pilots" to test interest before entering full production.

Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima believes the arrival of next-generation consoles will present various difficulties for developers. To combat these challenges, the industry veteran explained to Edge that developers could release TV-style "pilots" to see if gamers are interested before moving forward.

"It's possible to make many things more realistic, but that doesn't mean you should," Kojima said. "You have to prioritize, and that is what's going to separate the teams that succeed from the teams that don't. [But] I think there's a different way of tackling this problem: something similar to a TV series, where you can use pilot episodes to test the waters before you jump completely into the project."

Kojima explained that these pilot episodes could be delivered through digital channels, allowing consumers to try a game out while production on the overall title continues. He estimated development on a new pilot could be completed in a year.

"I think there will be a social aspect to game creation, because it will be more interactive," Kojima said. "You'll get user feedback, and I think there will be this back-and-forth between users and creators."

Kojima is not the first to speak of episodic content as a component of next-generation game development. Sony president of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida revealed last month at the PlayStation 4 unveiling that the platform will support episodic content and free-to-play games, though he did not go into any greater depth.

Episodic game development is a method chosen by few in the industry, though for some it has been a success. TellTale Games created numerous episodic adventure games for the PC before breaking through with last year's The Walking Dead, which was well received and has sold 8.5 million episodes to date.

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Discussion

243 comments
Branmuffin316
Branmuffin316

Or make a game that doesn't suck and its audience will find it.

metal_zombie
metal_zombie

this would work for fps multiplayer games but other games don't see the benifit

TigusVidiks
TigusVidiks

All this talk of episodic content, as a kind of Demo for users to try games before actually buying the whole product, and providing feedback to the companies, is just smoke and mirrors to mask the true intentions.  Which are to start formating gamers into slowly  accepting their games in episodes, where you would end up paying a lot more than 60 bucks for the whole pack.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I like both TV and movies. But I don't know... commercial supported episodic gaming?

crashmer
crashmer

Don't you just hate it when in a demo it says: "This demo is not representative of the final game. "? I mean what is it representative about then? A turd? 

adroge1
adroge1

I just don't see myself buying a short demo.

hadlee73
hadlee73

We already have episodic content for most games:

Episode 1: The Game

Episode 2: The rest of the game via paid DLC.

:P

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

Sorry, but I'm not going to pay any money for a test game. I do kinda like the idea of throwing ideas out and seeing how the public react, but test groups have existed for that purpose for decades. Granted, games lend themselves to a more open forum due to the internet, but I'm certainly not going to pay for the "privilage" of playing an early build of a game which might not even get completed.

It's bad enough that Capcom asks its customers to pay for a game again if they want to see new content, rather than release it as DLC.

CaptainBerserk
CaptainBerserk

Yeah i knew this was coming, this is just another way to encourage and estabilish DLC practices even more, as if we don't alreary have enough crippled games! i don't like this idea at all.  Already been done and (thankfully) failed with Siren New Translation.

dre256x
dre256x

If the price is right sure, try some new avenue i say...

TheSkyrimStatue
TheSkyrimStatue

umm, Kojima... this already exists: it's called a 'Demo'

visionedorange
visionedorange

damnit gamespot stop postin pics of ground zeroes everytime hideo says somethin, its sucha tease as i await news to see if the newest mgs games will remain current or go next gen

Lord_Python1049
Lord_Python1049

Costs of pilots are usually incredibly expensive and time consuming, and the rest are cheap relatively (in TV anyways). The same would be for games I'd think.

hugoadan
hugoadan

i'm ok with that, as long as you don't have to pay for it...

Mayleene
Mayleene

Careful.....that's an awful big can of worms you're about to open up there.

Double_Wide
Double_Wide

See stuff like this makes me want to give up gaming altogether! The developers seem to always think more about what's best for them these days than the consumers...

It just gives them more of an excuse to not give us complete games and to drag their feet in development.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

The industry has been desperate to sell gamers on episodic content 15-years.

Imatyta
Imatyta

It should be free, since it's purpose is to see how the public reacts to the game.

franzito
franzito

How much this "episodic content" venture is gonna cost to the gamer? Because if it's to test, it should be all free, right? We're not going to finance anything, right!?

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

Just to be clear... I'd only be willing to pay at max 3 dollars per hour of gameplay's worth...

In other words (CoD single-player only game is screwed), if a game takes 20 hours to complete (and doesn't kill your interest in it before you do), it's worth 60 bucks (just barely)... Those games with addictive multiplayer should have a different price formula... One I'll leave open for debate to my fellow gamers... (Obs: I said gamers, not greedy business-men.)

Stebsis
Stebsis

I think this is good idea and yeah, it'd be just a demo, to show what the game is like, but it'd be longer and would be coming months before the game releases, unlike usually when demo comes maybe 2-4 weeks before game is coming out, not leaving devs basically any room to back down at that point if people suddenly aren't interested in it at all after playing the demo.

buccomatic
buccomatic

"f2p episodic dlc" or pay for a demo?

Armin_Devil_PS3
Armin_Devil_PS3

I hope what had happend to Half Life 2 doesnt happen for next games and developers suddently dont abandon their games ...

HapiJoel
HapiJoel

Surely the problem with this is that it would take forever to develop the follow up to a hit pilot?

CP2077
CP2077

Eddie I think we need more info to go off here what is he talking about demos, videos or shorter games that you buy in smaller chunks? for less money? 

CP2077
CP2077

Not even sure what hes talking about, maybe they aren't even demos but more like a 5 min cut seen to get a feel for the story and a bit of animation made to look like game play? a lot cheaper then a demo.???

CP2077
CP2077

yeah demos are nothing new I gave been downloading demos for years

gamingfrendly
gamingfrendly

so its like a demo but i guess in the age of DLC the words expansion pack and demo are lost from the gaming archives.

BiohazardXTREME
BiohazardXTREME

I have a better idea. How about developers make some cool gameplay framework, like, let's say  Uncharted. Then what they do is they release a smaller, self-contained game that plays exactly like it. People can buy it, for, say, $5, and it's not that long, but it has a self-contained storyline and it's fun, and all the money goes to help fun the bigger game, that will use the same basic gameplay but on a much bigger scale.

Rattlesnake_8
Rattlesnake_8

Some devs tried this on PC.. it failed pretty hard. Who wants to pay money for a game to be left with a cliff hanger, then have to wait months for the next one, then repeat over and over. No thanks, I want to buy the full game and enjoy it. That way when it fails I'm not left wondering what happens in the next episode that never comes. 

cinerius
cinerius

@Dragon_Nexus 

Well, something intelligent, which has been done already, is offering a reduced price for incomplete games: for example with Minecraft you had the chance of getting the alpha for a really low price. By doing this people can show their support for an early concept and help it shape up well, getting all the updates in return.  Everyone's happy this way ahah!

dre256x
dre256x

@Lotus-Edge   Kinda but heres the problem with demo.. alot of person take it as the final code of the game.. Ever notice CoD and few other titles releases a demo AFTER the game is release... Demo can hurt your game before its release

cinerius
cinerius

@TheSkyrimStatue 

Yes, but the demo comes out near the finished game release . Demos should come out way earlier to allow developers to do any significant change.

Confused_Echo
Confused_Echo

@Double_Wide If Devs don't think about what's best for them, they go bankrupt and have to lay off all their employees. Game Development is becoming more and more expensive, and companies have to be able to pay their employees, and keep themselves afloat or they wont be able to continue making games.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@nocturnalkisses Sounds to me like a Minecraft/kickstarter combination, where players act like beta testers, but way before a beta is done, giving feedback and suggestions as the development goes forward. Minecraft released a very early version of its game and let people play it for much less money than the 1.0 version cost. I would like that the companies released a free demo or proof of concept and asked gamers what they thought of it, but I mostly think that the publishers should let the developers make the games that they want to make rather than think too much of profitability/accessibility/popular genres.

xXNutcrackerXx
xXNutcrackerXx

@HapiJoel  

That's the first thing that popped into my head as well. And then there is the risk of diminishing interest as the rest is developed.

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

@cinerius Except the companies that can use this scheme to rip gamers off, charging for an alpha and then finding it's not financially viable so they scrap the project, but keep the proceeds.

TheSkyrimStatue
TheSkyrimStatue

umm, cinerius... there's a name for that to: it's called a 'Beta'

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

@West123

Meanwhile, people are buying DLCs that add one hour worth of gameplay for 10+ bucks... (This is why people shouldn't skip maths class.)

West123
West123

@CP2077 @Rattlesnake_8 no its wasn't...you should of said GTAIV that worked because they realised the "episodes" on time... besides he is not talking about episodes or paying as you go  the title of the page is wrong or misleading at best 

Dragon_Nexus
Dragon_Nexus

@Confused_Echo @Dragon_Nexus @cinerius Have you *seen* most alphas though? They're a game in a broad sense of the word with plenty of unfinished textures, GUI aspects, animations and the like.

Go on Youtube and look up some alpha footage for games you know of and just see how they compare. See if you'd actually spend money on any of them and be happy knowing that was all you were going to get.


Hell, some Betas of games wouldn't even be worth paying for with the rampant glitches and crashes they harbour.

Confused_Echo
Confused_Echo

@Dragon_Nexus @cinerius If development gets scrapped, you still get the alpha of the game. Minecraft cost something like 10$ when it was in alpha, so if it hadn't taken off gamers still got something fun to play for 10 bucks.

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

@Incubus420

To be perfectly honest and clear... To me Crysis 3 feels like a benchmark tool that doesn't deserve the hype or price it's charging... I'm not saying it's a bad game, but it's not an excelling game either, it's a prettier than average - average game... That's it... But at least it's slightly better than Crysis 2... And a normal person who isn't on a time trial beats the game at around 10-13 hours or so, that's why you think $40 is a good price, because it is... for 10-13 hours worth of play + (albeit boring) multiplayer... (if you do the maths, 13*3 = 39 bucks)

And that's saying something, coming from a Crysis fan... (It's saying I'm not biased...)

Incubus420
Incubus420

@ShadowOfKratos So what do you have to say about Crysis 3?  Lot's of people hated paying full price for a game that was only 4 hours.  (Sans multiplayer.) I just got it on sale for $40 bucks. I think that's a good price.