Mobile Focus Too Much On Casual? POPPYCOCK Says Webb


Some people in the mobile gaming industry believe that they should focus on the more hardcore players. Why? Mobile gaming, at its heart, is all about casual games. No one buys a cell phone or mobile messenger because it has cool games, and if you think so, I’m pretty sure I can scare up a Gizmondo for you to buy. Luckily, you don’t just have me to listen to, Leighton Webb of I-play feels the same way.

According to Mobile Industry, at the Osney Media Mobile Games Forum, Thomas Richter of Jamba said, “Why are we still explaining to each other that casual gaming is the way to go, talking to a target group that is absolutely price sensitive and not loyal at all?” Webb disagrees. Citing M: Metrics research data, Webb noted that the most popular games being played today in the U.S. and Europe are casual games.

“Look at Yahoo, MSN, AOL et cetera – all of these companies have used casual games as a core revenue driver and tool for consumer retention,” said Webb. Why should the mobile gaming business be any different? The hardcore don’t purchase cell phones to play games, they purchase the Sony PSP or Nintendo DS if they need something to do on the go.


Jon R.

Everyone on that panel who raised the issue should be fucking shot. Did these retards not pay attention to the whole N-Gage debacle?

What a laughable misunderstanding of the causality for cellphone games. Casual games are popular on cellphones because THAT’S THE ONLY TYPE EVEN REMOTELY PLAYABLE ON THEM.

One thing that seems to be a constant between “casual” games and “hardcore” ones is the matter of control schemes. That is, hardcore, more than anything else, refers to a type of game that relies not on intuitive design, but on convoluted bullshit. This convoluted bullshit itself relies entirely on the “hardcore” gamer’s long-standing experience in coping with such bullshit.

With phones, you get a makeshift D-pad. If you’re lucky. Hence, no room for convoluted bullshit, and no room for “hardcore” games.

Furthermore, people don’t play cellphone games for in-depth experiences on some suckjob cellphone screen. They play purely because they have nothing better to do and they need to kill a few minutes. Does that sounds like it’s conducive to a “hardcore” experience?

And really, given the way the DS and GBA have sold, i’d wager that even the casual gamers that want something meatier (or at least less mind-numbing) have already turned to those systems.

Mathieu Nouzareth

Also bare in mind that the number of casual gamers is about 10x bigger than the number of core gamers. So the adressable market is much much bigger than the core one.

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