343, the developers of the next Halo trilogy, are in an interesting position. There’s almost no way that they’ll be able to meet the hype and public expectations of a new Halo release, especially the first major release since the original developers at Bungie moved on.
They are doing some interesting things by smashing together the idea of DLC with the short burst storytelling expects of television episodes. Set six months after the main campaign, The Spartan Ops missions are 343’s attempt to create an ongoing narrative:
…giving gamers the chance to experience arc-based storytelling delivered in the sort of regular episodic chunks that have been most successfully executed on TV.
Phil Harrison, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business division, sees the move towards a model based on TV rather than film as an important one…
“[We’re] speaking the same language from a production methodology, a storytelling perspective. You’ll see [that] we’re basically entering the episodic television industry with Spartan Ops. There’s a linear piece of content, and an interactive piece of content, and I think that’s a pretty interesting direction.”
Especially interesting as gaming has become the poster child for other media to steal from when trying to evolve.