This was an essay that I written years ago and I decided to reuse again for a new argument essay.
Prompt was to pick a controversial topic and write about it. The essay was to discuss both side of the argument.
Episodic Games, the Wave of the Future
The whole house is asleep except for yours truly. The television's eerily glow fills the room. Soda cans lie haphazardly around. My eyes glued to the center of the television screen with a zombie-like glaze until a knock came from the door, which releases me from my stupor. Sitting on the bed, I peered at a corner of the room, the silhouettes of my video game cases came into view. It would take a person several years to complete all the games. The problems of today's video games are expensive and long length. Episode games are the best solution, offering quality games at a cheap price.
The best analogy for comparing episodic games is with television shows. The cost of developing an episodic game would be less than a regular game. The first episodic game would be a pilot to see if consumers were interested, then additional episodes would be developed to meet consumer demand (Kraft par. 4). The episodic game would attract consumers because of the lower price point. The cost of an episodic game would be twenty dollars instead of the 50 dollars charged for a regular game. An episodic game would require less time to develop and use fewer resources, justifying the lower price. Successful TV shows like LOST, 24 and The Unit builds an audience over time. An engaging and challenging episodic game would build the same kind of audience, providing a steady stream of revenue and enabling the developers to further the series. Having an audience has the potential of creating a steady stream of revenue for the game developers so they can continue to further the series. Since a lower price point is appealing to consumers, the potential exists for selling one hundred million copies of an episodic game at twenty dollars, as opposed to ten million copies of a regular game at fifty dollars.
One of the main reasons for support of episodic games is the reduced game length. An average game takes around eight hours to finish. Many gamers who dislike the idea of an episodic game do not realize that they are practicing an episodic style by playing for a couple of hours, saving the game and putting it away for a later date. Episodic games would not lose the quality of the experience. A gamer who purchased a game for a cheap price and finished it in one day has the potential to become part of a dedicated fan base. Gaming is an expensive hobby. With the release of the PS3, the price is almost astronomically high-five hundred dollars for the lower end and six hundred dollars for the higher end. The bill will continue to add up with rising video games' development costs. The lower price point of episodic games would give some relief to regular gamers, and might encourage people who have never played before to try it.
One of the major complaints about episodic game is that glitches and bugs would destroy the episodic series. Though this is true, developing games in episodic format allows this to be fixed due to consumer reaction and complaints with subsequent releases. With regular games, the developers have no control over the game after it goes "gold." If the episodic series is not going as planned, developers also have the choice to quit developing on it and move to a different project with save money and time for them. Essentially episodic games allow both the consumer and developers to bail out of the series if it did not appeal to expectation. Many gamers also complain that they are not willing to play a part of a game. People watch movie trilogies like Lord of the Rings, read serialized novels like The Vampire Earth series, and watch T.V. shows like 24. Many consumers are already doing this. Episodic games are the most logical progression and have the potential to be amazing.
Episodic content is the future of digital distribution; it has many positive effects, which outweighs the negative. It is an idea that would benefit both parties and produce wonderfully innovative and story driven games, breathing life into the game industry.