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SiN Episodes 'well below $20'

Due autumn, multiplayer possible.

The first instalment in Ritual's SiN Episodes series, self-funded first-person shooters to be distributed via Valve's Steam premium content service, will be released this autumn and will cost "well below $19.99", according to the developer.

Speaking in an interview with fan-site Ritualistic, the team also said that it is discussing the possibility of a boxed release with retailers, "most likely containing several episodes at a more traditional price point".

Ritual also confirmed that it is considering its multiplayer options carefully. It's "definitely near the top of our to-do list and we have several unique ideas," the developer said. Ritual will seek the community's input on this, apparently, with a survey likely to appear on SinEpisodes.com "in the near future".

The first instalment in the series, SiN Episodes: Emergence, will be released in several packages - much as Valve's Half-Life 2 was when it was released last November. "The basic package will definitely be well below $19.99," the developer told Ritualistic.

The team is clearly enjoying the creative freedom that self-funding affords them, too. "We like to follow an iterative design approach and everything moves more quickly when the company can make final decisions instead of having to wait for feedback from the publisher," a representative said. The development budget is definitely a lot less than it would have been otherwise, he added, and the potential rewards are greater too.

In terms of the game content, Ritual reiterated that it plans to dynamically adjust content between episodes depending on user feedback, but this time offered some clarification, stating: "if a feature is well-received by gamers, we might expand its role in the game, whereas aspects that aren’t liked can be changed or phased out completely."

You won't need to pay for every episode to enjoy yourself fully, either, as each will feature a self-contained story "in addition to contributing to the overall story arc".

For more on the SiN Episodes, including details on the weaponry, story background and Ritual's tinkering with Valve's luscious Source Engine, which forms the backbone of the game, check out the rest of the Ritualistic interview.