I read this article and it got me thinking about modularity and incremental changes to products, and how sometimes, working out the problems with focus groups or closed population samples could be detrimental to the development process. Essentially, the focus has always been to release a fully featured game and then tag on a few DLC packs and call it a day. During this process, many features are tossed into the game which are not really fully developed or critically evaluated, as far as marketing and publishers are concerned there is a boxed product and it has to be on the shelves at a certain date.
What if we turned this model on it’s head, and instead of simply releasing a boxed product, we release a direct to consumer product which has few but polished features that are iterated and added on. A 1.0 of sorts which is polished enough to go out the door and something that we may be embarrassed about, but something that can be iterated upon and added to.
This is of course easier said than done considering that would mean developing an engine that adapts to new episodic content, or even just building a modular game engine. The interface would have to be modular as well something that doesn’t end up with having a ton of buttons on one screen in order to interact with the modular content. I haven’t even begun to consider the complexities of the product, but I believe that this model would be the most successful one, simply because it gives the developer the chance to react to public sentiment safely and with significantly less cost.