The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 13
The core gamer market is surely a
fickle bunch of people. Many people are afraid that Mobile gaming will kill the
handheld console gaming market while other just downright refuse to believe
such a thing can happen. We cringe at the thought of Microtransaction games yet
we will buy $60 games and down $10 two months later for a map pack or what not.
And then we look at the Facebook games and so forth and yes as Mike Capps said
recently the industry is pretty unsure of what to do with itself and longtime
gamers fear that their franchises may be reduced to bit size games.
Pop Cap Games is one of the most successful casual game developers on the market, with their original funding and development team I no doubt believe they would've failed to launch had they gone for big time retail releases.
I understand being worried, but let
me be flat. Only good can come of the casual market.
Why? Well think about the first
game you played that really made you a gamer. Me personally growing up my folks
didn’t get us a gaming console until the Gamecube in 2004 I believe (the years
are sadly a little fuzzy in my head). I remember watching my brother play Call
of Duty: Finest Hour or Medal of Honor: Frontline and while I tended to enjoy
those games I never found the draw to them because I either found them just
difficult (I was eleven at the time) or just too dark, as a kid I remember
gasping the first time I saw my brother kill Nazi’s on screen thinking about
what the war must’ve really been like back in the 1940’s. So while I might’ve
enjoyed FPS to some degree I stuck with my Legend of Zelda and other games (I
used to be a big RTS pc gamer as well).
Later that year, my brother’s good
friend Matt loaned us Halo Combat Evolved for the PC. After observing my
brothers play the campaign for a bit needless to say I got hooked. The more
casual approach to the genre with regenerative shield to always fall back on
and the God pistol make for little to no learning curve. The premise was much
more lighthearted (until 343 Guilty Spark) and full of mystery. Today I don’t
think I could be a gamer without first person shooters or my Halo.
But what does this have to do with
the casual market? Well just like how Halo was a more casual take to the first
person shooter the mobile market is a more casual take to just about
everything. Even relatively dead genre’s like tower defense, castle crusher,
puzzle games, and isometric games can reach a wider audience and not only can
more development studios (no matter how small) can find their nitch making $1
mobile games but more people can be introduced to gaming as a whole.
And that’s just it, with the
continuing trend of gaming becoming more mainstream and developers finding
success in markets like mobile and facebook games the industry can only profit
and with time the casual gamers may find themselves playing more traditional
games as they realize how much fun it is.
If you can handle a bit of optimism, then here’s another topic to think
about, imagine a few years from now when mobile hardware improves as fast as it is
and more people own tablet devices than ever before. Could you see the
traditional RPG’s of the isometric point and click days make an impact on the
mobile landscape? Imagine playing Baldur’s Gate or Fallout 2 on your ipad
accessing everything through your HUD and tapping on the screen where to go.
Imagine an RTS like Stronghold or Empire Earth making a port to the mobile
landscape offering the depth of a core game on a device for the go. When this
day comes it’ll only be a matter of time before the lines between mobile and
core gaming are blurred out and soon everyone will be enjoying games regardless
of how shallow or deep the experiences are.
Have faith gamers, more studios can
find success today in places other than $60 retail games. Now we have the
downloadable arcade, the free to play, the mobile, the handheld console, the
handheld console downloadable, the browser based, and much more. And more
people can come to enjoy games as well.
If you're worried about the success of the core gaming market heading for the trash bin let's be clear. How many of us are actually wondering if they're going to be playing Battlefield Play4Free or Battlefield 3 this fall and which one is EA really gunning for?
On a semi-unrelated note: Just yesterday even I tried to play Battlefield Play4free for the first time since the beta, the game caused my PC to BLUE SCREEN. Don't worry It's fine now.