Epic Games VP talks tough on new distribution model
Epic Games vice president Mark Rein shocked delegates at the Develop Conference in Brighton today when he declared that episodic development models made little sense, saying he thought the concept was a “broken business model”.
During his keynote address entitled “Avoiding the pitfalls of the next generation” Rein – whose company develops the Unreal Engine 3 technology popular with next-gen developers – said that he’d heard plenty said about episodic content but very little that actually made sense.
“Customers are supposed to buy half a game… then wait six months for an episode?” he asked rhetorically.
“When I put a game down, I want to try a new one,” he said, before going on to claim that episodic games would “inevitably” recycle content, implying that gamers will be bored as a result.
He also felt that episodic games would fail at retail because “you can’t buy retail marketing with a wholesale price of $15” and “distribution without marketing is worthless”.
Rein’s controversial views are seemingly at odds with a lot of his fellow PC developers, including Valve whose Steam model is considered very successful, and his views prompted howls of derision from a number of delegates.
Develop:Rain on Rein13 07 2006