Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Siren Goes Episodic in Europe

Recently announced in Japan, Siren New Translation will be making its way west this Summer, not as a retail release but as 12 self-contained episodes under the name Siren Blood Curse.

As surprising as this may be, the evidence was really there all along. A leaked SCEE release list from back in March had the game scheduled for a July release, but the odd thing was that the release list was comprised entirely of PlayStation Store content. Furthermore, IGN mentioned in their write up of the Japanese announcement that "the game is now split into 12 episodes, each with an opening and ending sequence". Sounds perfect for an episodic game, no?

This announcement pertains to the European release of the game so there is no official word on whether the game will be released in the US in the same way, or even at all.

What makes this all interesting is that Blood Curse could very well be the first truly episodic game in the way we think of the term in regards to television shows. So far, episodic games have run the gamut from the Half-Life 2, every 18 months or so plan, to Sam and Max's roughly monthly installments. Never to my knowledge has a game been released episodically on a weekly basis, at least outside of Japan.

SCEE hasn't confirmed that episodes will be released on a weekly basis, but as it is, it would take 3 months to release the entire game. This would conveniently lead right up to Halloween, assuming a late July release date for the first episode. The full game goes on sale in Japan in late July, so this is very likely. It's possible that they could even do two episodes a week over 6 weeks. After all, 3 months is a long time to expect a gamer to wait for an ending to a game they'd normally beat in a couple days.

No pricing has been announced for the episodes, but if Sony is smart, they'll make the first couple of episodes free and then charge no more than $4.99 an episode for the remaining 10. $3.99 would be even better seeing as their profit margin on the game is much higher when they cut retail and production out of the equation.

They also face the problems of gamers who like having their games on disc avoiding the game altogether until the episodes are collected in disc form. That's not exactly the best way to breed goodwill among your fans.

[via PS3 Fanboy]

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