The Casuals are Coming

Great opinion piece from Dan Whitehead over on Eurogamer. Someone needs to sticky this over at NeoGAF so we can finally put the discussion to rest.

Excerpt below:

Yes, please. Sticky it on GAF.

That won’t matter. GAF will just make humorous gifs out of Denis Dyack holding a Wii and write “AGAINST!!1!” underneath it.

But this is a good place to request it.

I dunno dudes. There are some posters here who would probably answer the second way and not the first.

can we get a GIF with Tomonobu Itagaki drinking booze while piloting a Xbox 360 theme fighter plane downing a Nintendo theme plane piloted by Miyamoto shaking Wiimote to the Wii music game!!

slaps forehead

When are people going to stop being so preoccupied with what the groupthink at NeoGAF believes?

aka NeoGAF (GAF stands for Gaming Age Forums which was it’s former name.)

EDIT: What the heck. You ninja edited just as I pressed the reply button.

Sorry about that, my special ability :)

Thanks for that, I slapped my forehead because, I couldn’t believe I had forgotten NeoGAF. Haven’t been there in a long time.

Well, it looks like it’s as lively as ever, not sure if that’s a good thing though.

I see what you did there.

Why should anyone here care what the people on GAF think, as if the opinion of the hivemind over there is more valid than opinions posted anywhere else.

If you want to have this discussion here, then by all means, feel free to talk about it.

Gah. The GAF comment was just an aside, guys. Probably should have known better, though.

Casual games d0ming the hardcore is about as valid as console games d0ming PC gaming.

If there’s a demand, there will be a supply.

I’d truly hate to see every game go the Nintendo Wii route. What a nightmare. Gimmicks up the ass.

Yeah, but if A and B both meet a given demand, but B is cheaper and initially more appealing but ultimately less fullfilling…

I don’t think there’s any shortage of game developers who want to work on hardcore games. However, many people in charge of marketing at publishing companies don’t really share the same mindset. To them, it’s all about making profit while spending a minimal amount of money.

Thankfully, there’s quite a number of powerful guys out there who also happen to be idealists and visionaries, like John Carmack, the guys at Blizzard, and John Riccitello of EA who want big name games to represent their company. Hardcore’s here to stay.

You can’t really be proud of some piece of shit like “Trailer Park Tycoon 2” or “Puzzle Quest Ripoff Extreme”.

If it was all about the money, most production executives in Hollywood would be making nothing but straight-to-DVD trash like American Pie 8 or some low budget kids movies. While they don’t make big bucks, you can churn them out in droves and not have to spend a lot of money on advertising, or quality actors and still reap a healthy profit with very little risk. Just like casual games. There’s enough undiscerning “consumers” out there who don’t really care about heavy CGI or good acting.

For those stressing over the second option, John Carmack doesn’t think the market is going that way:

You know, people are happy to buy Call of Duty or Guitar Hero or whatever every year if you have to stage development patterns and everything on there, to bring out massive wonderful things, but keep following it up like that. That seems to be doing pretty damn well as a big plan, with new content every year, because it certainly is true that it’d be great if we weren’t four years between our titles or more, our mainstream stuff at id. That’s a problem and that makes you want to do these smaller things, but the market seems to be responding best to not smaller things but more, bigger things. It’s a big play, and that does favour the big publishers and developers that kind of make those monstrous investments.

Yeah, one look at the MMORPG market verifies that statement. There’s dozens of low-budget MMORPGs out there with minimal investment that have little to no chance of being truly profitable. They might stay alive for awhile, but most people are just going to keep going to big name titles like World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online or NCSoft’s upcoming Korean lineup that’s making the rounds these days.

There’s not a lot of people who give half a damn about pure low budget trash like Cabal Online, FLYFF or whatever weird name you can think of.

That’s not accounting for taste, of course. Some people just have none, and so become players of these lousy games – mainly because they’re free to play.

I remember back when Deer Hunter hit and was outselling everything on the PC, even though it cost like $100K to make, and was followed by tons of other ____ Hunter games, all of which sold pretty well, a lot of these same conversations were had.

And everyone made it through just fine. In fact, there’s probably a good chance the next game Deer Hunter dude bought was Call of Duty or whatever.