I thought I’d write a short post before I head over to the MumboJumbo party. Basically, here is my take on what I’ve seen and heard already:
Welcoming note + Bernie Stolar from Google : The welcoming format was conventional. So was the message. Bernie had a massive presence but unfortunately he wasn’t able to pinpoint what Google is really up to when it comes to the casual games space. It was all pretty vague, like previous messages and news releases from Google.
Life Beyond “Me Too” : I had a lot of fun in this workshop which was based around a brainstorming session, where complete strangers had to sit down together and compete as teams in creating and fleshing out an idea for a new casual game. The experience was pretty interesting and the result was very surprising – especially the quality level of the ideas that came out of the process. And oh… my team won 😉
The Other 80% : John Vechey (PopCap) addressed the problem that the industry has with expanding its audience and growing even further. The potential, according to John, is there but we are failing when it comes to finding new players and new social groups. My comment would be that this is interesting when you consider the fact that the casual games industry already contains companies that have exstensive marketing knowledge and know full well how to market things to a new audience.
Maximise your revenue : See earlier post, where I covered this presentation in detail.
Hype vs. Real Deal : A very successfully moderated panel which judged a number of topics as either “Hype” or “The Real Deal”. The panel was fairly entertaining and their views were well in line with mine, most of the time. The only real exception was their take on Casual MMOs, which most of the panel members associated with the downloadable format and portals and though were a little hyped – ignoring the fact that the growth in Casual MMOS is in browser based and flash based games. There are numerous success stories already out there which are a good indicator of where things are heading.