As such, it was bittersweet when the news dropped that the new chapter, called Life Is Strange: True Colors, is not going to be an episodic game, after all. Many fans were left speechless, almost at a loss, but there are good things stemming from the tidings. Many are just as excited to "binge" the whole story, and many are excited to not be left baited for the next. Still, the game giving up one of its quintessential traits does have consequences for others as well, not just fans and the franchise.
Life Is Strange, originally created by Dontnod Entertainment and published by Square Enix, is now adding a whole new game to the franchise. Alex Chen, the protagonist, has supernatural powers that allow her to sense other people's feelings. She perceives them as colorful auras, and they can affect her own emotions.
However, Life Is Strange: True Colors might have made a bold move that makes the game's impact more prominent. First of all, having the chance to release a finished product for gamers to play might be a good thing. While the episodes were worth the wait, plot details would eventually slowly fade away for some players because of how each episode took two or three months usually to be released. Plus, this change could be the catalyst for a bigger change, with graphic adventures games not needing episodes anymore to be something players return to. What makes player return is a good game, regardless of how it's handed out.
The game will retain its third-person camera, and it will be a full game from the get-go, rather than an episodic game like Life Is Strange, Life is Strange 2, and Before The Storm. This was a key element of its predecessors, and the game moving away from it can have an impact on the gaming industry as a whole. For example, Telltale Games, which has risen from the ashes might just be impacted the most.
The video game publisher is no longer the original studio with the original assets, as all that is gone since TTG filed for bankruptcy in 2018. However, LCG Entertainment Inc. acquired the studio and managed to keep licenses for The Wolf Among Us and Batman. In fact, in 2019 the reborn Telltale announced the next chapter for TWAU, simply called The Wolf Among Us 2.
Considering the studio is known for its episodic game, can it fully recover from its downfall when the competitor drops the episodic element? The thing is, there is a really, really good chance that Life Is Strange: True Colors will still be successful, despite the developer changing from the previous games and the fact that it won't be an episodic adventure anymore. If this happens to be the case, then it goes to show that the episodic element is not needed, after all, putting more pressure on other games that retained this characteristic.
When the new TTG announced TWAU 2, the game was confirmed to be an episodic game, much like all other previous titles from the original studio. However, the difference here is that all episodes are reportedly being worked on simultaneously. This could hint at TTG's response to Life Is Strange dropping the episodes, making the episodes quicker if not all day one. The problem is, what's next? The Wolf Among Us 2 might see a significant reduction in the waiting time for each episode to go live, becoming almost a semi-episodic game. This could be the spark that ignites a revolution in how graphic adventure games are developed, and it might mean that future LiS games, Telltale titles, and similar games may no longer rely on this structure. How that plays out remains to be seen.
Life is Strange: True Colors releases September 10 for PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.