The lights are on
During the Classic Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, we got a chance to interview David Crane, co-founder of Activision and creator of Pitfall. Crane had an interesting take on casual games, which many consider to be a fad.
During our interview, we asked Crane if he planned on bringing his current JungleVenture project to mobile devices, and he said that they’d have to wait and see how well fans responded to their Kickstarter program before they knew how many platforms they could bring the game out on. Then he went to comment on the current state of gaming.
“I think it’s hilarious because there must have been some kind of miracle, because ten years ago everyone was playing these kinds of games and now everyone forgot they existed just because they’re on phones now.”
“I kind of feel like I’ve always made casual games. I make games for people who like to have fun and enjoy games on any level. Games are about diversion; that’s very casual.
If you ask someone what they thought a casual game was a few years ago, they might have said something like Angry Birds. Now they’ll probably say something like Farmville. I don’t like to lump those social games in with casual games. I think it’s those Zinga-like games that give the “casual” market a bad name.”
What do you think? Do you agree with David Crane? How do you define a casual game?
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Sorry for the tangent, but I strongly dislike the current usage of "social gaming" because to me, it's not social at all.
SOCIAL means playing in the same room, either split-screen or LAN. Playing Farmville on Facebook and sending messages to everyone you know is not being social, no matter what anyone will try to tell you.
As for "casual gaming" I think this guy has a point. Technology is catching up and putting more and more complex games on phones and other devices. Just because it's on a phone (and more of them are allowing you to HDMI connect it to a big TV anyway) doesn't automatically make it "casual" imo.
How would arcade games like Asteroids or Space Invaders get labled today? I think most gamers over 40 got their start playing these classics. There was nothing casual when that tiny spaceship shot at me while I dodged the asteroids. I think I would label them social, casual, and core games, lol.
I'm 29 and my first system I had even before Nintendo was Atari. It seems now "casual" games have a few factors: changable difficulty (anybody can play), takes 30 min a session but can play longer, and is not nessicary to play daily. MMO's and online shooters fall outside this line, therefore almost any other game is casual. My roomate plays Arkam City on easy, me normal. Reach campaign on normal is casual. Legendary alone takes patience AND skill. I think the market has done a good job balancing it's self on the vasual factor. Even EA makes different football games it's self on arcade (Blitz was fun, Madden Classics was simplified).
I consider casual games to be anything that has fairly easy to grasp controls, does not require large amounts of time to be put in for any kind of reward, and is appealing to a wide variety of people. My problem with casual games is they are often incredibly repetitive and require little to no skill, or they're like angry birds and are just kind of boring, which is why I (unfortunately) am unable to find anything worthwhile to play on my phone.
Interesting article. Alotta cool aspects to consider in what makes a casual game. I think it all depends on the person and how they feel about the game. But now its time for me to throw a side jab at Angry Birds. Angry Birds is a HEAVILY overrated franchise that gets wayyy too much publicity when there are 10x better games out there that hardly gets any recognition. Don't get me wrong. Angry Birds is fun but people overexaggerte how good it is. I don't have FB so I haven't played Farmville but I heard its annoying. Is that true?
Many games around 10~25 years ago considered "hardcore" are now being "casual". Digger, Snake, Battletank, Frogger, Pitfall, Worms, etc were only played by gamers who have atari or EGA computer.
But now games are very much accessible. We have consoles, plenty of mobile platforms. So kids, adults, businessmen, wives, can play games.
I am a casual gamer. I played Bejeweled, Solitaire, and Angry Birds. But also played Quake, Dragon Age, Battlefield, and Diablo. There's no such thing as casual or harcore gamers in my mind. Only gamers.
And yes, I think "xxxville" pretty much give a bad name to casual game(r)s.