SiN Episodes: Emergence goes to beta

The first installment of Ritual Entertainment's SiN Episodes has officially gone to beta, meaning the rumored March release date may be accurate. In a blog entry, lead designer Shawn Ketcherside says, "It’s official. We’re Beta. This is a very exciting time. As of Monday, we’ve shifted entirely to bug fixing and preparing to launch this thing."

He also offers a nice point of view on episodic gaming: "Society is moving towards a “customized for me” sort of paradigm. Look at the popularity of iTunes, or the growing movement for a la carte cable channel selection. In more gaming relevant terms, you’ve got the phenomenal success of Steam, Xbox Live, and of course, the heavy weight precursor of customized games – Mods."

With Valve's recent announcement of Half-Life 2: Episode One/Aftermath and Episode Two/AfterAftermath, the market is about to get a crash course in episodic gaming and--if gamers accept the episodic distribution model--the implications for the gaming industry could be enormous.