How Hideo Kojima Feels About Episodic Gaming

Episodic games might be present with major developers like Telltale Games, but it hasn't completely taken off just yet. But Hideo Kojima believes episodic gaming is the next big thing.

In an interview with GameSpot, Kojima was asked about episodic gaming and if it's something he'd ever consider. He said,

In the future I think this is a change that will definitely take place and I'd be interested. I don't think movies in the future will last two hours, especially when people are already demanding more speedy experiences and delivery. So taking shorter time spans to develop, putting it out, integrating user feedback quickly, and having that freedom in game-making, I think it will apply to movies and TV too. That's where I think things are headed, having five or 15-minute episodes. For games, having massive, long games will become a thing of the past.

Kojima notes that his current triple A title in development, Death Stranding starring Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead, won't be episodic, but it's definitely something he might consider in the future.

Developer Telltale Games is known for their episodic and narrative-driven games like their Walking Dead series, which has proven to be wildly popular. Developer Dontnod Entertainment also put out a largely successful episodic title, Life Is Strange, which told the story of a girl who stumbled upon time-manipulation abilities.

Kojima isn't wrong when he says things like episodic gaming could be a thing of the near future. It's kind of like what happened with virtual reality. It took a little bit for people to get used to the idea and I think the same thing is happening with episodic gaming. But I'm also a little skeptical that it'll ever catch on. While most of society does have a horrible short attention span, I still think notoriously long games like Skyrim and Fallout 4 won't go out of style. It'll be hard to break those into short episodes and really still get a sense of the old Fallout or Elder Scrolls games that we enjoyed so much. I also think episodic games have to be a certain kind of style of game, which makes me think there isn't enough of this style to create a phenomenon. Episodic games tend to feel like TV shows or movies, with a really detailed and engaging story. For example, episodic gaming might be difficult to do with a game that's driven by online multiplayer like Call Of Duty or Battlefield, or even Overwatch, because people are driven to play those games by the online multiplayer experience. So only time will tell if episodic gaming will ever catch on, but I think it's just a very specific kind of gaming style and not so much a trend.

Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding was unveiled at E3 this year and doesn't have an official release date, but we can assume it will be sometime late next year.