Casual market to eclipse hardcore

Seeing the first signs already?

PlayFirst boss John Welch believes casual gaming has the potential to turn the tables and force hardcore games into a niche.

"Casual games are really, really big. You can tell just by the size of the room we're in this year," said Welch at a GDC keynote (watched by Gamespot).

"The point here is we have the opportunity to elevate video games to become a first-tier form of entertainment, like TV. We will have succeeded when casual games goes away as a category, and hardcore games is the niche."

Welch describes casual games as those accessible to part-time enthusiasts and, once the industry moves away from producing the stereotypical try-then-buy model and becomes more innovative, then the rapid growth can begin.

"There's going to be a lot of dead bodies in the side of the road in casual gaming," added Welch. "If you're a developer, beware the glut, because there's a lot of content coming...

"We're about to emerge from this cocoon and there will be all different kinds of butterflies."

Nintendo has already proven that expanding out to a part-time audience is a successful venture. It leads the current generation in both handheld and console sales, and a look down the recent UK All Formats Top 40 should demonstrate just how prevalent casual titles are.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

Jump to comments (45)

About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


You may also enjoy...

Supporters only

Comments (45)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer Merch
Explore our store