Casual gamers don't care about bad reviews

Written by Joe Martin

December 7, 2007 // 1 p.m.

Tags: #casual #ea #electronic #popcap #study

Casual games tend not to get very good reviews from many of the big-hitters - that's a pretty well established fact. However, casual games also sell really well (much better than critically acclaimed classics like Beyond Good and Evil). Can you see the conundrum developing here?

Apparently, EA has the answer. President of Casual Games Kathy Vrabeck told Next-Gen just why she doesn't really care about game reviews anymore. Gee, thanks Kathy.

"I get less concerned about game reviews because the casual gamers don't read any of those things...It's a little bit amusing, in that it's people reviewing games against measures that are important to core gamers yet are not important to casual gamers," said Kathy.

So, pray tell, what type of review scale should we critics use to rate casual games with? Thankfully, EA has a few ideas about that too.

"The measurement [of a game's appeal] for women aged 25 to 34 would more likely be whether or not they'd hang up on their girlfriend to play this game," EA Casual Marketing VP Russell Arons told Next-Gen. "'Would you hang up a phone conversation for this game?' That'd probably be a truer measure for that target audience."

So, just to be clear for all you casual gamers, Peggle is worth putting the phone down for only if you're speaking to your mother-in-law or a particularly hated sibling. BeSpelled meanwhile is worth hanging up on Jesus for - it's that addictive.

Personally I don't see it taking off, but what do you think? How should games be rated and how do our reviews influence your purchases? Let us know in the forums.

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