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Summary:

If you obsessively played Desktop Tower Defense last year (and really, who didn’t?), you’ll love this news: Paul Preece, creator of that insanely viral real-time strategy classic, has a new game site: Casual Collective launches today, backed by $1 million in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture […]

casual-collectiveIf you obsessively played Desktop Tower Defense last year (and really, who didn’t?), you’ll love this news: Paul Preece, creator of that insanely viral real-time strategy classic, has a new game site: Casual Collective launches today, backed by $1 million in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners. It’s the brainchild of Preece (who’s CEO) and co-founder David Scott, a fellow UK game developer. (Scott’s Flash Element TD is even more popular than DTD.)

minionsThe site comes with social network elements, an upgraded version of Desktop that now boasts a seductive multiplayer mode, and several new titles, perhaps the most promising of which is Minions, a team-based tank warfare game with charming graphics and gameplay reminiscent of Command and Conquer.

Speaking to me from Casual Collective’s offices in Redding, Preece told me the startup plans to add updates and new games every two weeks, in a bid to convert visitors into members. Like most casual game sites, revenue will primarily come from advertising, but it will also experiment with microtransactions, game upgrades and enhancements users can buy for cheap.

The Lightspeed funding was put together by Jeremy Liew, who first learned about Preece the way most of us did — a Desktop Tower Defense addiction. “I spent so many fricking hours on that game,” Liew told me. He believes the Casual Collective fits some of the major trends in Web 2.0 gaming — shorter development cycles with cheaper budgets, web distribution, and widgetization, so games can live outside their portal on other sites — which should carry it through today’s shaky financial straits. “We’re taking the long-term view here,” he said.

The seed funding should last them through 2010, Scott estimates, but says he thinks money should start rolling in a lot sooner. Given the Casual Collective founders’ track record, that’s a pretty safe bet. I certainly hope so, because there’s an indirect personal connection here: When I wrote about Desktop Tower Defense last year, Preece was still a Visual Basic programmer making games in his spare time — and pulling down monthly ad revenues in the high four-figure range. So when his boss read my GigaOM post, Preece told me then, “he was not a happy chappy,” and Preece was soon out of a programming job. But then again, now he’s a CEO, so he’s got that going for him.

Image credit: www.casualcollective.com.

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  1. I wish them good luck. I run http://www.bonuslevel.org since a year now, where the concept is to allow players to make their own levels (quite similar to the casualcollective concept). But the problem is that players are confused by all those levels everywhere and the site doesn’t take off.

  2. Video Game Feed Blog » ‘Desktop Tower Defense’ Creator Paul Preece Launches New Casual Games Site Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    [...] GigaOm reports that Paul Preece, creator of the frickin’ awesome Desktop Tower Defense, has launced a new site called The Casual Collective. According to GigaOm’s Wagner James Au: "Casual Collective launches today, backed by $1 million in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners. It’s the brainchild of Preece (who’s CEO) and co-founder David Scott, a fellow UK game developer. (Scott’s Flash Element TD is even more popular than DTD.) The site comes with social network elements, an upgraded version of Desktop that now boasts a seductive multiplayer mode, and several new titles, perhaps the most promising of which is Minions, a team-based tank warfare game with charming graphics and gameplay reminiscent of Command and Conquer." [...]

  3. I hope Casual Collective does well. I am currently developing games in my spare time as well and find the success of DTD to be quite inspiring!

  4. I believe causal web gaming is becoming a huge market. Good luck Casual Collective.

  5. ‘Desktop Tower Defense’ Creator Paul Preece Launches New Casual Games Site | PC Gaming news Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    [...] GigaOm reports that Paul Preece, creator of the frickin’ awesome Desktop Tower Defense, has launced a new site called The Casual Collective. According to GigaOm’s Wagner James Au: "Casual Collective launches today, backed by $1 million in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners. It’s the brainchild of Preece (who’s CEO) and co-founder David Scott, a fellow UK game developer. (Scott’s Flash Element TD is even more popular than DTD.) The site comes with social network elements, an upgraded version of Desktop that now boasts a seductive multiplayer mode, and several new titles, perhaps the most promising of which is Minions, a team-based tank warfare game with charming graphics and gameplay reminiscent of Command and Conquer." [...]

  6. o sa avem mai multe joace de la creatoru … Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    [...] o sa avem mai multe joace de la creatorul tower defence Post a comment — Trackback URI RSS 2.0 feed for these comments This entry (permalink) was posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008, at 9:02 pm by Catalin Istratoiu. [...]

  7. I read somewhere a while back that Paul Preece quit his programming job, got seed funding and then started Kongregate. I can’t seem to locate it now, so I could be mistaken, but Have always thought Kongregate was his company.

    Either way, after looking into it, it does look like Paul Preece is not doing this by himself. He has a partner Dave (i can’t seem to find his last name).

    Good luck with the new venture. Try not to create something so addictive next time. ;-)

  8. ‘Desktop Tower Defense’ Creator Paul Preece Launches New Casual Games Site « Xboxpress’s Weblog Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    [...] GigaOm reports that Paul Preece, creator of the frickin’ awesome Desktop Tower Defense, has launced a new site called The Casual Collective. According to GigaOm’s Wagner James Au: “Casual Collective launches today, backed by $1 million in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners. It’s the brainchild of Preece (who’s CEO) and co-founder David Scott, a fellow UK game developer. (Scott’s Flash Element TD is even more popular than DTD.) The site comes with social network elements, an upgraded version of Desktop that now boasts a seductive multiplayer mode, and several new titles, perhaps the most promising of which is Minions, a team-based tank warfare game with charming graphics and gameplay reminiscent of Command and Conquer.” [...]

  9. Techlife » XGen Studios vs. The Casual Collective Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    [...] Casual Collective also re-launched their top hit Desktop Tower Defense 1.9 as well as a slew of new games including: Buggle Stars, [...]

  10. Unit1 » Blog Archive » » Casual Collective: Time Wasters from Dekstop Tower Defense makers Saturday, November 22, 2008

    [...] [via GigaOm] [...]

  11. I wish them luck, it would be cool if my own upcoming site Gamerius could become a similar platform for game development on the future, but that depends mostly on the current phase’s success.

  12. How Casual Game Startups Can Survive Recession Monday, December 22, 2008

    [...] Scott, co-founder of Casual Collective (profiled on GigaOM here), said November was actually a strong month for them, advertising-wise. “From our point of [...]

  13. I love that game and the creator’s community. I wish them good luck!.

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