That stack of semi-completed games on your coffee table is either a reminder of how you habitually abandon good entertainment, or a teetering celebration of your healthy, well-prioritized life. (But this is a video game blog, so we think it's the first thing.) In the case of Telltale's episodic downloads, you don't even have the haunting benefit of physical leftovers.
"In episodic games, usually the first episode ends up selling the most and it's one of the key reasons we have come to sell our game series primarily in the 'Season Pass' format where you get all the episodes for one purchase price," Telltale Games Producer Dave Felton told Gamasutra
. While the practice offers no guarantee that you'll play
every episode, Telltale can at least ensure that you purchase all of them -- except on the iPhone, where a "Season Pass" has yet to be implemented within the company's lineup. (In comparison, season passes exist on PSN, but not on Xbox Live.)
Felton suggests that iOS devices are unique in that episodic drop-off is "substantially less than we have seen on any other platform to date," and suspects that the synergy between Apple's devices and its App Store "work together to drive that difference."
Unlike Xbox Live Arcade, for instance, games on the App Store can easily be pushed into visibility by customer reviews and feedback. Telltale found that Hector: Badge of Carnage
, its first externally developed series, even saw sales rise between episodes. It's Telltale's job to curb player ennui in their game design, but Hector's momentum indicates that a fluid marketplace can be just as important for bite-sized content.