I think people need to realise that only well established franchises could be made viable in episodic format (ala HL2) the rabid fanbase will pay through their noses for another 4 hours of gameplay with vague hints of story in something like that - even if like in episode 1 90% of the stuff in there is recycled from HL2 - What sort of FPS add-on of any kind doesn't include any new weapons??!?!?!?!?
Sin on the other hand will fail because it has no coherent story of interest whatsoever and barely anything to connect episodes which is of course why you would want to keep buying episodes one after the other.
A new IP would not work in episodic because who is going to be attached to a game enough after 4 hours to want to keep shelling out for it every 8 months or so - especially FPS where they are very very similar.
I have bought both Sin and HL:1 and I regret both of them and won't be buying any more as the 4-5 hours gameplay wasn't worth $20 to me. Sin felt better value because I subsantially felt they did more new stuff for my dollar. No repeated textures, no repeated weapons etc, and a few more fun things like the stat system etc,.. and yeh the combat is like 20 times more fun than half-life (and prey coincidently).
It's interesting about people thinking UT's are episodic, but they have a hell of a lot more design resources and play time than Sin and HL1 combined, and thus I can see the larger price, and they come out less regularly. Zelda is a stretch to call episodic - most of them have been fairly different from eachother.
I don't think Episodic gaming will progress unless the average consumer is dumber than I recognise.
When it boils down to it... I see episodic gaming as a nice meeting point for publishers between demos and full retail as they cant demo a 4hr game... (seriously who would release an episodic game demo before you can buy it for people to try??) They conveniently avoid people actually trying the product before they buy, but entice them with a cheaper price.
Again, much like steam I feel episodic gaming is a huge plus for developers/publishers that does virtually nothing positive for the gamer.
Games on steam are not cheaper than on the shelves (except on pre-release)
anyway thats for another day.
I think pc gaming is going down the gurgler now as well and the only thing that can save it is perhaps vista and moreover some clever developers wanting more than just $$$$ from the gamer.
I don't want to be a part of the bullshit in the pc gaming world anymore when I could buy a console, pay a flat fee and have a game that is full length... not very buggy and heaven forbid I can sell it when I want to get some cash back.
That saddens me but is more and more true as this year goes on.