Nowadays, you can see people playing casual games everywhere. At home, on the bus/train, waiting for appointments and in lectures, etc. So why are so many of us playing casual games?
If you compare casual games with ‘hardcore’ games (such as first person shooter, MMORPG’s, etc), casual games are simpler. The player is usual able to just pick up the game and within a few moments be able to play, due to its simple controls or familiar style. Casual games are also more accessible. People are able to play the simpler games on their smartphone or tablet, compared to most hardware games that need a higher level of hardware requirements.
Gameplay is also divided into smaller, achievable levels. It is designed this way so players are able to receive instant feedback, and gain satisfaction each time from winning. These shorter levels also allow the player to easily pick up the game when they have limited time (eg: a work break). This particular characteristic of casual games may lead to problematic use. The satisfaction of winning each level or getting a higher score than your previous play, coupled with the seemingly never ending characteristic of casual games mean there is no incentive to stop playing. People are also spending money to continuously play these games. For example, in Candy Crush, you can buy more lives to continue playing, or you can buy boosters that will help you in completing the level. These little purchases do add up, and it is estimated that Candy Crush generates revenue of over 850,000 million a day.
Due to the competitive nature of the industry, games are churned out at a rapid pace, meaning there will always be a huge variety of games to choose from. This also means that it is usual for some games to rise in popularity for a while, and then fade into the background as consumers move on to the next trendy game.
Taking all of the above into consideration, as more and more people get hooked on these casual games, there will be potential for more innovative games to be created, and the industry will only continue to grow.