Kevin Bruner (Telltale's CTO) is always worth a listen if you get a chance.

The major thing that Kevin uses, and I absolutely agree, are comparisons to non-interactive media. There is a very wide variety of non-interactive media and no one talks about how one is better than another like people talk about "classic gaming" versus "episodic gaming". The difference is the same as between movies and television and television didn't kill the movie industry.

I think episodic content is something of a no-brainer. It may not seem like it right now, but most of what we're lacking is the gaming equivalent of "television channels", if just for accountability to a schedule, much less useful aggregations of "shows". GameTap is out there (and part of a company known for traditional television channels), and they seem to get it. Steam is out there and they are slow to be a "television channel" because they still want to be a broad distribution platform. It would be really interesting if Steam created a "premium content channel" and started to force accountability from its studios in that channel, particularly Valve. Certainly it would be the tail wagging the dog, but it would do Valve wonders to commit to an episode schedule.

Obviously there are a lot more opportunities for "television channels" to pull independents together or to pull niches together. I'd love to see GarageGames get interested independents together with committed season schedules.

"Casual game" growth has only benefitted the games industry as a whole, and I think that episodic programming will become yet another interesting slice of the spectrum.

(Promoted from being a comment to American McGee's blog.)