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Friday, July 24, 2009

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PopCap CEO Calls For Expansion Of Casual Games Audience
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

A new Gamasutra article revealed comments from PopCap Games CEO David Roberts' recent keynote address at the Casual Connect conference. During the discussion Roberts urged the casual games industry to focus more on creating games that appeal to both hardcore and casual gamers rather than zeroing in on "40-year-old cooking soccer moms with two children."

"Four years ago, everyone was talking about PC and Mac games on portals and soccer moms were the big new market. There was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and everyone could work for six months and make millions. Then mobile came on the scene... Then Flash games: those were going to democratize gaming; free online games were going to change everything - until of course they didn't."

"Somewhere along the way, Club Penguin sold themselves to Disney and everyone was sure free MMOs aimed at 'tweens were going to make the industry totally change ... and of course this year, if you've been to any of the sessions, the big thing is social. So we've been pretty scattered as an industry going from one bright, shiny light to another, and it's one of the problems that we collectively have to deal with."

"We as an industry have short attention spans ... but also we yearn to try games that are more exciting. The economics allow us as an industry to take some risks that hardcore teams don't."

"About one fifth of the Internet population plays both hardcore and casual games. In our quest for the demographic of soccer moms we miss out on this potentially lucrative demographic," said Roberts.

The casual game executive concluded: "That crossover audience is PopCap's focus. The sheer size is such that we really can't ignore it. If you don't build something that appeals to the crossover audience, you're cutting the audience in half from the very start, and you don't have to be a marketing genius to figure out that this isn't a good idea."
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Gamasutra: PopCap Games CEO Keynote
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Archives  News  PopCap CEO Calls For Expansion Of Casual Games Audience