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Thursday, July 19, 2007

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"Casual" Becomes Gaming's New Buzzword
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 6 comments

A recent PC Magazine article explores the game industry's current love affair with "casual games." A desire to expand their customer base coupled with growing development costs for the traditional hardware chewing flagship titles, has led many corporations to look toward casual gaming with new interest.

The surge of interest in casual games is partly the result of shifting economics that have pressured the bottom lines of many firms.

An A-list title for new gaming consoles from Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. can now take four years to make and cost $30 million, two to three times the cost of games for the previous generation of machines.

Yet retail prices have only risen 20 percent, to $60 for a newly released top title.

Moreover, publishers' hopes that gamers would rush to adopt new hardware were dashed by the high cost of the consoles. Fewer consoles in homes meant a smaller base of potential game buyers, and thus weaker sales of those costly new games.

By contrast, casual games, with their simpler graphics and controls, can cost well under $1 million and take just a few months to make. Although they might sell for as little as $5 to $30, they appeal to a broader audience.
The full article is available at the site listed below.

PC Magazine: "Casual" the New Video Game Buzzword
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