Written by kube00 Saturday, 19 March 2011 05:00
After listening to several podcasts this week and hearing the idea of social gaming killing off console gaming, I started thinking this could be a valid point. Recent trends indicate it is more profitable for a company to release a Facebook game or to develop a cheap iPhone game. Think of it this way, a social game, is a game one plays for a few minutes at a time. Most of these games are easy enough for anyone to play and won’t wow anyone with amazing graphics but strangely enough people become obsessed with them.
Could something like this destroy the fabrication of console gaming? Maybe, more than likely it will take a chunk of the market share from console gaming. More and more people are becoming “gamers;” the idea of someone who plays games is changing. No longer is it just the nerds or basement dwellers.
People and their increasingly busy lifestyles may not have time to sit down and play through something lengthy like an adventure or RPG. Just look how short most mainstream FPS campaigns are. These games now focus on multiplayer. Instead, the casual game fills this niche, something they can play for a few minutes at a time.
Some game developers such as Activision know games like Call of Duty will make money since it’s an established franchise. As a new developer having to possibly compete against this established mega game, one may want to consider developing on a smaller scale for Facebook or the Android/Apple App store. Let’s say the App store sounds like the right path, at $0.99 there are thousands of users on iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads, the potential market place is endless. Or on Facebook there are millions of people who use it on a daily basis. Just make the game colorful, simple, with addictive properties and people will flock to it.
This is becoming a rapidly alarming trend as more people begin to game. Overall, developing for something smaller and simple is a great idea vs. developing a console game with a huge budget that may have to compete against Call of Duty. There’s no guarantee a company will make profit right away especially if you are a new IP on a console. For $60 some people won’t bite, but if the game is free or $1.99, most people are willing to give it a try.
So social gaming is becoming the new face of gaming. I still prefer console games to something I consider a time killer while waiting for my laundry. But if these small games keep making money down the road console games could be in trouble.