Episodic gaming is becoming the latest buzzword in the world of video games. Game publishers are planning all kinds of games that are delivered a few levels at a time via the Internet instead of all at once on a disc, and of course you'll be paying separately for each episode, too. Imagine if The Legend of Zelda ended abruptly after the first dungeon with a message that the next dungeon is coming soon for only $9.99, for instance. Basically it amounts to gamers paying more money for less content. Nintendo's Satoru Iwata has some thoughts on episodic gaming. The short version: he doesn't like it.
"If you ask me whether that kind of approach can become the huge, main resources for the huge, main revenues in the future, I'm not optimistic, actually," said Iwata. He added, "Asking customers to pay something monthly, or something periodically, we can never expect that kind of revenue to become the significant, main resources for Nintendo."
I'm certainly glad to hear that. Could this be a sign that the games available on the Wii's Virtual Console won't be offered on a permanent rental cost model? Can we truly expect to pay for a game once and then own it forever? That's jumping to quite a conclusion, but I'm in a leaping mood today. At the very least I take his comments to mean that we won't be seeing a Zelda or Fire Emblem title that's been sliced into "sold separately" bits anytime soon.