The path to the episodic game was being paved at least a decade ago and someone wanted us to have the impression that Bungie might be on that road.
You are reading Kotaku's once-weekly (sort of) journey back to yesteryear. This week, I wanted to find some old news about Halo and found this gem.
Recall the month of March 2000. In that month MMWire ran an item entitled "To Be Continued...The Next Episode of Your Game" about World Entertainment Broadcasting, a company that would change gaming by enabling developers to produce games in just four or give months:
The current business model of spending 2-3 years developing a PC title that sells for $30-$40 is too big a risk, [WEB CEO Jim] Perkins tells mmWire. With no guarantee a game will be a hit, it's not worth spending big bucks on development, he adds.
And who among the game development community was interested? Why, the future makers of Halo.
Support for WEB's business model in the development community is strong, Perkins says. He believes shorter development times (about 4-5 months) and faster delivery of royalty checks will appeal to developers, and adds that the company is in discussions with Halo developer Bungie Software. Bungie CEO Alexander Seropian says he is "very impressed" with WEB's online gaming plans.
Nine years later, no big video game studio this side of adventure game house Telltale is turning around episodes of games in four-five months. WEB is no more, Alex Seropian now works for Disney and... wait!... a quickly-made Halo game is finally on the verge of release. Next week we get Halo 3: ODST, a side-story that was developed in just 14 months.