Microsoft wants casual gamers too

Written by Joe Martin

June 11, 2007 // 8:58 a.m.

Tags: #360 #bill #casual #games #gates #hardcore #microsoft #moore #xbox

Casual games are fast becoming the bane of our existence. Not only do they sap away any spare hours we have in the day, but they also force some of our favourite developers to close shop and move to the casual games development market.

In spite of this, the casual games market remains lucrative for developers who can quickly turn around simple and addictive games - especially if they publish themselves via Steam or Xbox Live. This has caused many companies are keen to get a slice of that action, and Microsoft seems to be no different.

Annoyed with what Microsoft thinks is a 'hardcore image', Bill Gates' mega-corporation is desperate to bring casual gaming to the Xbox 360 in the hope of making the console more appealing and accessible to those who are currently non-gamers.

"I don't want to be pigeonholed as a hard-core machine." Said Albert Penello, director of Xbox global platform marketing, to Bloomberg news.

Peter Moore elaborated on the planned move towards casual games:

"If we don't make that move, make it early and expand our demographic, we will wind up in the same place as with Xbox 1, a solid business with 25 million people. What I need is a solid business with 90 million people."

Sure, only 25 million people bought your console - it's a hard life Peter. Actually, wait, maybe it is a hard life after all.

Casual games, which many hardcore gamer regard as the very essence of quantity over quality, are fast becoming a trend for developers to move to in order to generate some quick cash to fund larger projects. We just hope that this recent burst of movement from larger developers doesn't stifle the indie development scene and doesn't jeopardise more massive, traditional game projects.

What's your opinion of casual games and the effect they have on gaming as a whole? Let us know in the forums.

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