GDC: Casual games will make the hardcore “niche”, says Welch

By Patrick Garratt, Tuesday, 19 February 2008 07:25 GMT

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Speaking in his keynote at the Casual Games Summit ahead of this week’s GDC, PlayFirst CEO John Welch has said that the casual side of gaming has the potential to eclipse the “hardcore” and elevate the medium to one of generally accepted entertainment.

“Casual games are really, really big. You can tell just by the size of the room we’re in this year,” Welch told the packed event. “The point here is we have the opportunity to elevate videogames 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.”

He went on to warn that a “glut” of casual gaming is on the way, and there are likely to be many casuaties as the genre evolves.

“There’s going to be a lot of dead bodies in the side of the road in casual gaming,” he said. “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.”

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