After a countdown of only 24 hours, Electronic Arts launched a massive new addition to their Garden Warfare series. Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville launches four full PvE campaigns across three cosmopolitan hubs featuring quests, collectibles and secrets, as well as a series of multiplayer modes and freeform social areas.
The key surprise is not only that EA continues to pump money into the idiosyncratic shooter franchise for all ages (which I love), but also the way the publisher launches this game into the world.
They call it "Founders Edition," and it's the latest in a series of moves by creators and companies to tackle the trivialization of their binge culture publications in the modern media landscape ,
When Entertainment Becomes Available
What is Binge Culture? Binge Culture looks at the latest Marvel movie on the opening night, so you will not be flooded with spoilers in the morning. The Binge Culture goes through a 10-hour season within days, leaving you time to discuss it with your friends. Binge Culture is an increasing lag of 100-hour games, which you can play for a dozen hours each.
It is the ever-growing watchlist. It's your social media feed. It's the transformation of your conversation into a shroud of commitment and guilt that keeps you going, because what's being discussed today is rarely considered relevant tomorrow. And the cycle is hellishly exhausting because there is little room between urgency and old news. Pop culture has become homework, not entertainment.
The fight serves your additional attention. Developers and businesses need to think, talk about, and care about a project after the release date.
You have two main options to accomplish this. The first is to keep posting new things or major updates for older things. Like rocket boosters on the Saturn V, this approach can be fast, flashy and extremely expensive. As a result, Netflix has recently borrowed another $ 2 billion in debt to continue to produce massive inventories of original content, and Fortnite is rejuvenating due to painful crisis cycles.
Businesses are always producing new things, but in this environment, the value of that content remains the same for the audience: available. Reclaiming this part of the audience's attention requires another batch of new material, leading to further spending, further potential workplace abuses and a continued increase in relevance.
The second important option is to divide your content into intentional pieces and potentially experiment with how they are born. This approach does not guarantee that all pieces will attract attention on their own, but overall creates an environment that encourages active, shared engagement for the duration of the release period.
Disney returns to the weekly release schedule for much of his streamed programs. Netflix, the driving force behind the modern audience's expectations for binge streaming, is pushing ahead with the idea of a similar return to the weekly program with certain shows. Hitman (2016) attempted a modular and episodic approach in games, with results that are enlightening compared to his sequel Hitman 2 .
And that opens up a whole range of other ways of worms.