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Friday, May 2, 2008

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The State Of Indie Gaming
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

Gamasutra recently published an article examining the current state of the indepent game market. Specifically focusing on "casual games," the article offers an examination of the types of players who use casual games, and the struggles unique to developers trying to be noticed in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

The PC platform where independent gaming started is the platform of biggest revenue for casual games.
But casual games downloads are going through a crisis. There is a number of good studios cranking out a far higher number of good games than the audience can consume, creating a glut of good titles and reducing the shelf life of every title.
This crisis is accentuated by the fact that portals haven't turned out to an Amazon or Netflix model; instead, they pushing the same top 10 to every user, regardless of the user's tastes.
This has forced portals to look only for titles that appeal to the vast majority of people. Genres like time management, hidden object, lightweight adventure, puzzle, and simulation are well accepted by the audience, and if you can innovate in these genres then you have a good opportunity.
Just keep in mind that in order to make your money back you need to stay a good number of weeks in the top 10 of the major portals, and that means that you need to reach at least top five in most of them to have enough momentum.
Every other genre is likely to be rejected by the mainstream portals. And it's because it's a chicken and an egg situation: with their "one top 10 for everybody formula" they have only been able to convert their original audience to paying customers: 35+ females.
It's not that males aren't playing casual games; in fact, the Casual Games Association, in their last market report, showed that 48% of casual gamers are male -- but 76% of casual gamers who pay for a downloadable game are female.
To read the full article click over to the link provided below.

Gamasutra: The State Of Indie Gaming

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