I don't have a problem with episodic content, provided it's done to allow the game to release, keep the game content funded, and the studio in business.
Hokkaido was not even close to done at release.
Colorado was not even close to done at release.
When I first started getting reliable information (which takes ~2 releases or the not-quite-major-patches to verify), Marrakesh had been out a while. By the time E3 rolled around the game wasn't ready to be fully out, so the episodic model saved the game. Had it come out, as-is, they'd have rushed it and bombed it.
Future references being leaked comes down to a few things:
- Packaging done badly and/or in a hurry; OR
- IO wanting us to know.
I'm in the latter camp; I think IO want us to do it, because having people data mine brings its own hype effect. That, and given the IO presence on these boards, I'd expect to have heard something from one of them (here, on Twitter, etc.), other than Torben liking an idea I had (and calling me naughty on stream).
I already know who the silent man is.
If you're talking about future seasons being referenced? I don't think their story content is done. A few targets are clearly for post release of the main game (next year). But if they're prepared to bundle up a bunch of episodes into a season, reduce the total cost OR justify it with engine upgrades, I don't have a problem.