Using Steam, its proprietary online distribution service, Valve is doling out the next chapters in the Half-Life saga in shorter episodes (typically six or seven hours of gameplay versus 60).
It lets the company update the story more quickly – and lets them incorporate player feedback into new episodes.
“Steam gives us a real time connection with our customers,” said Newell. “Rather than guessing how people are playing our game, we can watch and see them navigate through the game. We can see them get stuck at various points and say ‘oh, that’s not what we designed’ and work to correct that (in our next installment).”