Casual Games

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.

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2 thoughts on “Casual Games

  1. I actually wrote a similar blog post! https://videogamesftvms2014.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/addiction-or-curiosity/
    That casual games intend for players to keep playing because there is never and end to it! Do you think that this may be a tactic so that people continue to play their games? – Putting aside the fact that games eventually become less ‘trendy’ and people move onto new, more popular games – because when games have a narrative and when there is a story to it there will eventually be an end to it. People will stop playing it. Like a girl in my tutorial said, people might watch their favourite movies over and over again but how often will they play the same game twice? When the game is over does it really mean it’s over for good?

    Therefore, maybe casual games do create this never ending medium on purpose so people will be addicted to and play it constantly over a long period of time. Like you said games are “coupled with the seemingly never ending characteristics… meaning there is no incentive to stop playing”.

    A

    • Yup, I think that your point is totally right 🙂 I read somewhere that Candy Crush puts out 2 new levels a week, which reinforces that there won’t be a complete end to the game any time soon.

      I also think that the appeal of casual games is that you don’t have to think much when you play them. Compared to the MMORPG games that also don’t have an ending, people are able to play casual games as a way to relax and release stress (eg: on the bus from a long day at work), and not have to worry too much about strategy.

      S

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