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XBLA Group Manager Heads to PopCap 13

Posted by Zonk
from the change-of-venue dept.
Prepared for a career dealing with casual gaming, well-respected group manager for the Xbox Live Arcade Greg Canessa has left Microsoft for PopCap Games. Citing an interest in mass appeal for videogames and now helming PopCap's platform business, Canessa will be responsible for pushing the company's casual games out to new places. He says, of his new position: "I think we are looking at what could be the next Blizzard or EA in the game industry with PopCap, and I want to be a part of that." How important do you think casual games are to the future of the industry? Is the 'mass appeal' of these games really such that we could see a casual developer rise to the prominence of an EA or a Blizzard?
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XBLA Group Manager Heads to PopCap

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  • by Chmcginn (201645) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @06:39PM (#17940532) Journal

    Is the 'mass appeal' of these games really such that we could see a casual developer rise to the prominence of an EA or a Blizzard?
    If you mean 'prominence' as piles of fanboys, and long discussions on slashdot, then no, probably never. The very idea of casual game fanatics is oxymoronic...

    but if by prominence you mean strictly sales, and number of people playing it... casual games, done right, could be much bigger than EA or Blizzard. It's a question of how big your market is.

    • by Leviance (1001065)
      You forget slingo and snood
  • Yes, and No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stratjakt (596332)
    Saying that PopCap could rise to the "prominence" of Blizzard or EA sort of connotes that they'd be as well-known or popular, which I doubt will happen.

    PopCap's future is on cell phones, ipods, zunes, or any other little gizmo with just enough power to stack blocks, or web browsers. I play popcap games on my treo, and you'll see them pop up on everything.

    They could easily rival EA and blizzard financially, and they could easily ship more units, but Bejewelled 3 will never be as "glorious" and talked about
  • by Kazzahdrane (882423) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @06:46PM (#17940642)
    For a long time I thought, "why would people want to pay for 'casual' games that they can play for free on the 'net?". Then I played Geometry Wars on the 360, and later Zoo Keeper on the DS and now believe that even if a "casual" game is simple and easy to play it can still be a big hit with console and PC gamers. As long as the price is kept fair (Zoo Keeper I picked up pre-owned at a much reduced price from my workplace, so I didn't pay the same as a fullprice DS title) then casual games certainly have a place in modern gaming. Castle Crashers, an XBLA game (with 4-player co-op!) from the team who made Alien Hominid will likely be my next "casual" game purchase, and I'm considering picking up Lumines Live! for the occasional 30-minute break from work.

    With EA's profits falling - blamed on the high cost of "next-gen" development - I think PopCap stand to really benefit from raising their game and bringing new gamers into the fold.
  • Japan (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Thursday February 08, 2007 @06:49PM (#17940696)
    Look at Japan, in 2005 the total number of software units sold was 39 Million in 2006 this total jumped to 69 Million ... This jump is mosty attributed to Nintendo's success in attracting Casual gamers because in 2005 Nintendo sold 15 Million software untis and they sold 33 Million software units in 2006.

    I (personally) don't think Japan is unique in having a lot of people who don't play games that would play videogames if the correct videogame came along.
  • I imagine everyone who has a job which requires them to be present, but not necessarily busy, has a keen interest in any "casual game" which can capture their interest. They may not be willing to pay for those games on an individual basis, but a nominal fee for access to a wide variety of ways to pass the time could be very successful. Think receptionists, call centers, government workers.

    Hence the incentive for companies to try to keep their employees busy at work, even monitoring employees' computers. H
  • Are they having some internal problems at microsoft? I'm still waiting for the XNA / XBLA game competition to start, it was supposed to start in january. http://www.dreambuildplay.com/index.html [dreambuildplay.com] I want my game on XBLA!
  • Don't worry, his 60 minute trial will run out soon.
  • casual? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cgenman (325138) on Friday February 09, 2007 @12:37AM (#17944456) Homepage
    What defines a "casual" game? All arcade games from their heyday would be considered "casual" games. Anything you can pick up and play, then put down, seems to be defined as casual.

    I, personally, love casual games. And I really couldn't be considered a casual gamer.
  • I dont think that they will rival anything like EA in terms of sales, but the market will continue to grow, and in my opinion is the best place to look for NEW ideas in terms of game dynamics and design. Casual games have a bright future, but not for market dominance, thankfully.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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