To your point, I wonder if they'll "prime the pump" with in-house testers or any other pre-release playthroughs.
Yeah, I think that's what Telltale does as a fail-safe mechanism.
The statistics data mechanisms at work here will have to be carefully examined by players in any case. In the case of Telltale, you're never told if and when those statistics data are collected, sent or updated
. On the one hand, I don't see universal player statistics working out well any other way. On the other hand, that's an honest to god data privacy violation right there thank you very much.
I guess that with Chapters as well, we don't exactly get a warning or even – which would be the only acceptable thing to do actually – a separate button
in the menu called "send/retrieve updated choice statistics
". Much more likely, the game checks for an internet connection without asking and if it finds one, it sends and retrieves statistics. Worst case scenario here, it even bothers the player with checking for an online connection upon starting the game, wasting precious time until you get your "no connection found" error message and no way to RTG/Valve server contact if you happen to be online at time of play.
Chapters will have to be quite aggressive concerning data privacy for the whole statistics thing to work out. At present, the Walking Dead/ Wolf among Us game builds bought at the Telltale Store check for a connection upon starting the game, and episodes are downloaded in game; those bought from Steam update all the time anyway – all probably good times to update the whole statistics apparatus. In comparison, the DRM free Chapters episodes bought at/ retrieved from gog or Humble reportedly/thankfully are separate installers: statistics are not necessarily collected from these gamers (if this does happen without the player's explicit consent, it would be a violation of the idea of "DRM free" in general).
It will work out fine for Steam users pretty quickly though – as Valve has never understood and will never understand the concept of privacy anyway.