Is everyone going “Casual”?

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According to Yahoo! News, the head of Electronic Arts (the world’s largest video game publisher) has stated that most video games are “boring” or too complicated. This statement is made shortly after EA announced that it would be re-structuring the company and adding a special “Casual Label” to the organization.

Nintendo also announced the release of WiiWare recently – “a game creation service that will allow developers large and small to create new downloadable video game content”. Most people agree that WiiWare is mainly built to support more casual game development on the Wii platform, which is already a major success amongst those who would be considered to be “casual players”.

Adding to this, “Boutique MMOG” seem to be creating a buzz these days. This is a form of massively multiplayer games that are developed with tools that are usually connected to casual or online game development. Also, the games themselves seem to identify more or less with casual game play, allowing players, for example, to easily disconnect from a game without having to fear overly “hardcore like” consequences (like being killed by other players while offline).

The tide is high. More eyes are opening to the potential of “casual development” and “casual game play”. To identify with an old Chinese curse, we live in interesting times.

J#

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