Releasing content in the form of episodes can be very beneficial from a game design perspective and exciting for the player.Instead of releasing the entire game at once, having multiple episodes can create a sense of eagerness for players. Players can play through a single episode, which could be a few hours worth of content, and excitement can be built for future episode releases. This can be an excellent way to continue marketing a game as well. From a game design standpoint, this gives the developers some extra time to further develop content in the unreleased episodes. This also allows the designers to receive feedback from the released episodes, benefiting the development and iteration on future episodes. This design choice emphasizes player feedback, increases marketing opportunities, and builds excitement for the player base.
The Walking Dead: Season 1
The Walking Dead by Telltale Games does a superb job of creating this release flow for the players. The designers were able to release a two hour episode, receive feedback on what players thought about the overall design and story flow, and then adjust design choices for future episodes based on the feedback. The Walking Dead community also grew very excited before new episodes were release, and this benefited the developers because the press picked up on the hype, creating more curiosity and appeal in the gaming community. Releasing episodes allowed Telltale Games to get an idea of how popular specific episodes were and iterate upon the feedback.