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3D Realms discusses Steam, episodic games

Zack Stern

Gamasutra interviews Scott Miller, the head of 3D Realms, about PC game download services, episodic content, and other current industry issues.

Miller wants Valve to spin Steam off into its own company, because he wants to work with a download-only service instead of a competitor. He thinks that an independent service will take Steam's place because he -- and we assume other developers -- don't like giving Valve a cut of the profits and a glimpse into private sales numbers.

Miller also thinks episodic games could work, but they're not yet succeeding because of delays between releases. He prefers spending the time to ship a single game with an ending instead of three short cliffhanger episodes staggered over a year or two.

We think he's spot-on in these assessments. Steam seems to be succeeding because Valve's great games have carried the service. Sure, other developers have signed on -- especially recently -- but Miller makes a simple argument why Valve's company can't dominate the whole download industry.

We're also excited about the potential of episodic games, but few have been released on a regular schedule. And even then, how long can gamers wait between episodes? Sam and Max episodes will be released each month -- is that the right length, or still spaced too far apart?

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