Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
January 29, 2022
arrowPress Releases
If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


CGS: The Media Myth Of The Casual Gamer

CGS: The Media Myth Of The Casual Gamer

February 21, 2008 | By Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh

February 21, 2008 | By Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh
Comments
    Post A Comment
More: Console/PC, GDC



Gabe Zichermann of rmbr.com spoke with ebullience and verve of the chutzpah that has to some extent defined the casual game industry since Bejeweled sprung from the void in 2001. Zichermann implied that, on a level, the whole idea of a casual gamer is more of a “media meme” than anything real. He attributes the myth of casual game market to a mixture of somewhat mundane factors.

Since the beginning, PopCap’s rallying cry " in retrospect mostly a marketing spiel " has been that casual games are different. When 18-to-39 year old males look at Bejeweled or Diner Dash, they intuit that clearly these games aren’t aimed at them. And finally, the media sure does love itself a good story. Did you realize that girls play video games too? News at eleven!

So who is the casual gamer? The stereotype is old, retired, middle-to-low-income women " or some combination of the above factors. In fact, statistically, few of these factors even in isolation represent a majority of the audience.

By focusing on this narrow demographic range, the industry tends to ignore wide swaths of a potential audience " in particular, under-twelves; youths from 13-24, and men from 18-34.

All of these audiences have been poorly served by casual games, with established TV brands “way ahead of where we are” in the children’s market; Xbox Live Arcade serving a piddling selection of games to a large audience, and even young, hypothetically prime audiences just as drawn to poorly-designed community sites like Myspace as they are to targeted casual games like Neopets.

“Basically, we haven’t made a dent [into these markets], and I think we really could,” Zichermann concluded.


Related Jobs

JDRF
JDRF — San Francisco, California, United States
[01.28.22]

JDRF Game2Give Community Manager
Disbelief
Disbelief — Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
[01.28.22]

Programmer
Disbelief
Disbelief — Chicago, Illinois, United States
[01.28.22]

Senior Producer
Cryptic Studios
Cryptic Studios — Los Gatos/ Remote Optional, California, United States
[01.28.22]

Art Director, Neverwinter









Loading Comments

loader image