It may be difficult for some of you to admit, but those 80-some-million “FarmVille” players really are onto something.
And don’t forget all those people playing “Words with Friends” on their iPhones and iPads.
While the traditional retail video game business continues to slump its way through the year , those in casual gaming say business is booming.
As Casual Connect, the casual gaming industry’s annual conference, got under way in Seattle Tuesday, casual games executives and observers offered dramatic statistics and stories from an industry that is not only rapidly growing … but rapidly changing.
In 2005, casual gaming was a $300 million business worldwide, said Jessica Tams, managing director of the Casual Games Association. Today, analysts estimate it’s a $3 billion industry – if not more.
"Casual gaming is the fastest growing mass medium in history," insisted Matt Hulett, chief revenue officer for casual games developer and publisher GameHouse, during one of the first presentation of the conference.
He shared a statistic from research firm DFC Intelligence that put the number of casual PC gamers at 340 million monthly unique users today, with estimates that number will reach 412 million monthly users by 2014.
Meanwhile, just last week, developer and publisher Big Fish Games proved just what a big fish it is in the casual gaming pond. The company, responsible for the “Mystery Case Files” series, “Flux Family Secrets” series and the “Hidden Expedition” series, announced that players have downloaded one billion games from its web portal.PopCapCasual games company PopCap has helped lead the casual gaming boom with hit games like “Bejeweled,” “Bejeweled Blitz” and “Plants vs. Zombies.”
What exactly qualifies as a casual game isn’t as easy to pin down today as it was just a few years ago. But generally speaking casual games are easy-going gaming fare. These games tend to be brainteasers and stress relievers, instant distractions that take mere minutes to learn how to play but a whole lot longer to master. “Bejeweled” is a quintessential casual game and “FarmVille” is the new heavy hitter.
Why is the casual games business booming when other gaming segments seem to be struggling? For starters, Hulett says it’s a business buoyed by thriving networks and fast growing platforms that make it easier than ever to reach a worldwide audience. That is, social networks like Facebook have seemingly invaded everyone’s lives and casual games have taken root and flourished there with them (as anyone who’s bemoaned their friends’ many “FarmVille” and “Mafia Wars” updates can tell you.)
good news @darrenbaker
Title URGENT – Web Designer Categories Art, Design Start Date 2010-08-01 Job Information
Web Designer to report directly to the Creative Director.
» Creative concept development
» Original design development
» Ability to execute designs based on established direction and style guides
» Participate in client presentations
» Ability to develop detailed design specs for production
» Minimum 4 years professional experience designing for interactive a must
» Online portfolio
» Strong leadership skills: ability to work with Art Directors and mentor Junior Designers
» Client skills and a great attitude
» Experience working for the education, non-profit and youth markets a big plus
I>[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]
Liverpool-based production services company announces collaboration on Activision title.
Catalyst Outsourcing is proud to announce their close co-operation with Bizarre Creations and Activision on delivering 3D art assets for the highly anticipated game “Blur”. By partnering with Virtuos Games, Catalyst was able to provide various assets for this new type of racing game.
‘It has been a pleasure working with a great team of highly skilled and talented people. All parties were exceedingly pleased with the end product, from the art, to the production and management,’ commented Catalyst’s Production Director, Ivan Davies.
Brian Woodhouse, Studio Head at Bizarre Creations added “Catalyst are a great service provider and have come on leaps and bounds since their inception, their services are 1st class and have a broad remit. They are a true gem in a very sticky area of our industry.”
One of our biggest challenges marketing Club Casual Games turns out to not to be selling our site and products, but the idea of playing games per se!
You wouldn’t think this were hard. Hey! We have games. Really good games. Good games are fun. We have free trials of good games. And totally free online games too. That’s right, instant free good fun!
Well I’m sold, for starters. But the folks who’d most enjoy playing often stubbornly refuse to even look.
Despite the explosive growth of casual games over the last five-plus years, the outdated view that games are for kids and unkempt geeks is unfortunately alive and well.
In a moment of clarity over a glass of Chateau de Cardboard this evening, I realised we’re dealing with a classic Green Eggs and Ham situation. With apologies to Dr Seuss:
Would you play games with a mouse?
I would not, could not, with a mouse.
I will not, will not, in my house.
I would not play them here or there.
I would not play them anywhere!
Games? I do not give a damn.
I do not like them Sam-I-Am!
Try them, try them, you will see!
You may like them, they are free!
I do not like them on PC
I do not play games, you know me!
Games are all just crash and blam,
Do not subscribe me, Spam-I-Am!
And so on…
Of course by the end of Seuss’s story, the grouch is so worn down that he does eventually try the dish just to shut Sam up. And it turns out the green eggs and ham are delicious and suitable for consumption anywhere, any time. Just like casual games really.
So gamers, how do we convert the masses of unenlightened grouches to the true pleasures of casual gaming?
Do we try to seduce, or do we just follow Sam’s fine example and harass everyone until they give in? Suggestions welcome.
Loved reading this article from our friends at ClubCasualGames.com - we loved working with them a on their game couple of years ago.
SINA Interview: Julien Merceron on China Game OutsourcingBEIJING —(Business Wire)—
A few days ago, Julien Merceron, global CTO of Square Enix, gave an interview to SINA Game, in which he illustrates topics ranging from game developing to the outsourcing marketing of the industry, together with his personal experience. The following is the detailed dialogue:
1. Since this is your first trip to China to give speeches and to get involved in discussions upon the invitation of CGOC’s organizing committee, what do you personally expect from CGOC 2010, and what topics are you going to share with participants of the conference?
Julien: 2010 is a cornerstone year for many Companies in the Video Game Business, and it is also a key year for China and Shanghai as well, because of the Expo. The Expo is a very international event, so I hope CGOC 2010 can be special in that way as well, more “international” than previous installments. I would like CGOC 2010 to deliver a strong message to the Game Development Community inside and outside Asia. And I expect my talk to be in that vein - I’ll talk about the future of Graphics, and the new type of techniques that Game Developers and Outsourcing companies will certainly want to embrace, which will help us identify more opportunities to all work together. My talk is going to try to highlight how fast techniques change, how dynamic our community is, how much room for innovation there is, and highlight the importance of R&D.
The UK’s two leading game developer trade bodies, The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA) and the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) are joining forces in the push for industry tax breaks in the region, “immediately” forming a steering committee to address the issue.
TIGA will head the committee, and both its members and ELSPA’s will team up with additional advisors they’ll invite from the fields of law, tax and public affairs. According to the bodies’ joint statement, the aim is to find out why the UK government withdrew planned tax breaks for game developers from its budget, and to re-evaluate TIGA’s original lobbying efforts to see where its presentation in favor might be strengthened.