So I was watching Angry Joe's impressions
of the first chapter of Telltale's Batman story/game/quicktimeevent. I pretty much agree with his assessment, although personally I'm not interested in it anyway. Essentially Gameplay low scores, Story high scores. That's kind of what you expect out of Telltale anyway, and by now it's the story that their fans are buying the games for in the first place. So that's all cool.
He does bring up one point near the end however, regarding the season pass thing they do. Full cash up front, while releasing the game chapter by chapter. What it comes back to is this, why do people still give Telltale a pass on releasing the games piece-meal like this after they've been in the industry this long and in theory should be doing fairly well for themselves by now.
As a company starting up, I could certainly understand the episodic nature of their releases. You gotta get material out there ASAP to start bringing in money ASAP. You're new, you're likely a bit strapped for cash flow. But instead of developing into a more proper release schedule - releasing the full story on day one, they simply opted into getting you to PAY for all the episodes on day one instead. To the point where they nag you at the end of the chapter to buy the season pass. (As seen in Joe's video.)
At this stage of the game they SHOULD be capable of releasing the full story on day 1. They've gotten to the point where they're now losing, or drastically delaying money from fans who are no longer putting up with the episode release and wait (Quite intelligently imo) for the full story to be available.
Their season passes could be, as Joe points out, essentially additional chapters after the story - kind of like what they ended up doing with Minecraft Story Mode - although that opens up a new can of worms as well. For instance, if the main story isn't satisfying, people will start looking at the season pass as ripped out content. (Like most DLC appears to be these days, especially for game franchises that have been around since before DLC became a Thing. (Disgaea, I'm lookin' at you.) (Hell, I'm lookin' at you too Ar Tonelico))
At any rate, I don't a reason for them to refuse to release the full game at launch now. They're already charging full price with the season pass at launch of the first chapter. Why not just stop pretending the season pass isn't a preorder. Let them preorder it at that same price tag, then make everyone wait an extra month or two. Don't worry, they'll keep waiting for it. And they won't have that excuse of "Oh I'll wait until the full thing is out." to buy it at launch - although the excuse of waiting for it to be on sale will still be valid. But that's what those people are already doing anyway.
I haven't played any Telltale games. Not entirely sure why, as I rather like story driven games, even if they're hitting on 100 tropes/second. Although episodic game release has been on my shitlist since the first day I saw it. If you have a successfully released and finished episodic game and feel offended by my shitlisting you with the rest you can thank the multiple examples we've had for the last decade of story driven games not making it to the end due to poor sales. (Even this before DLC was a Thing.) (Legacy of Kain in particular, I'm lookin' at you.)
That being said, I can easily understand this "wall" Joe references in the whole episodic release setup. You get into the game, it starts to get good then BAM! Gotta stop and wait 2-4 weeks or whatever before you can see more. (We won't even talk about the Kings Quest thing will we Kane. ^_^) After doing that a few times, I can easily see people losing entire interest in the story which is probably why Telltale tries to push the Season Pass as hard as they do. Get all the money up front, then it doesn't matter (to them) if 50% of the people who were into it for the first chapter or two even bother to download the remaining chapters.
Yerg. Turned this into a much bigger rant than I originally expected.