What's interesting about this is that the game comes in five separate pieces. It appears that the game has been chopped into episodes and will arrive on the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Marketplace.
This will be interesting to watch and raises some interesting questions:
- Will the pieces cost more than the $30 for the physical product on Windows, PlayStation 2, PSP, or Wii? My guess is that they'll cost more for the whole thing, justified by offering improved graphics and online achievements.
- Will there be a disc-based version for Xbox 360? Probably not.
- Why wasn't this done for the Windows version which is available as a download from GameTap and Steam? I really don't understand, given that GameTap is already doing episodic games.
- Does this signal how the the story started in Tomb Raider: Legend will be finished -- through downloadable episodes on the platforms that can handle it? I sure hope not. I enjoyed TR:L and would hate to have a virtual product as the only path to seeing its story finished.
- Will the Wii version be handled in the same way? Probably not. The Wii just isnt' designed to handle a full-size game like that (yet).
Well, I guess I'll hold off on ordering this through steam until I figure out what the hell they're doing.
I really don't like Steam at all.
Yeah, this stealth announcement is probably to keep from killing sales of the existing versions. They'd probably rather that it have been made public a week or two from now. The frequency with which things come out through ESRB rating listings does make me wonder if there is any collusion or gaming of the ESRB's system to get publicity.
Since the up-front cost is cheaper, maybe they get a few more people buying the first episode than would have paid for the whole game. But then every episode after probably experiences a huge drop-off in sales, since some people will never play all the way through, or lose interest even if they play to completion.