Games "miles away from mass market"

Buzz! dev has Corrie as benchmark.

Buzz! developer Relentless Software believes videogames are still "miles away" from captivating the mass market.

Speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz, co-founder David Amor said that although the "just for boys" stigma surrounding the industry is dispersing there's still a long way to go.

"Videogames are miles away from mass market still, and although it's great to see some of the recent successes, there are 20 million people that watch Coronation Street in the UK, so the idea that we're truly mass market is not the case yet," Amor told GamesIndustry.biz.

"But I do think that some of the stigma that was attached to videogaming is going away, generation by generation. I mean, the PSone took some of it away, it was positioned as a cool device, and PlayStation 2 has seen people recognise that the system isn't just for boys.

"So the stigma's gone away, people are realising that it can appeal to a wider set of people, mums and dads are playing Brain Training, Buzz!, SingStar, so it's certainly going in the right direction, but we're a long way off real mass market," he added.

UK-based Relentless found fame in 2005 with its PS2 quiz game Buzz!. Shaky sales soon solidified and demanded the developer grow from a dozen people to the 70 it currently employs in order to meet demand.

Relentless sees its game as one that will help broaden the appeal of PlayStation and videogames, which is a key area it feels competitor Microsoft is neglecting.

"If you only appeal to a certain section of people, you can't get the hardware sales beyond a certain point," offered Amor.

"I think that's something that Microsoft has suffered from - they've done great at targeting the core gaming market, but they're not getting anything too much wider. I think Sony has a wider view than that."

This is just one of the reasons Amor feels the PlayStation-surface under his feet is stabilising, after what he describes as an unsure start to this generation.

Head over to GamesIndustry.biz to hear more from Amor about development difficulties with the PS3 and the future of Buzz! on the console.

Buzz! Quiz TV is due out on PS3 this summer. Pop over to our Buzz! PS3 gallery to see how it's shaping up.

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