View Full Version : New Issue of the Casual Games Quarterly from the IGDA Casual Games SIG
James C. Smith
01-18-2008, 07:47 AM
The IGDA Casual Games SIG (http://www.igda.org/casual/) has published Volume 2, Issue 4 of their Casual Games Quarterly (http://www.igda.org/casual/quarterly/2_4/). This issue contains the fallowing articles:
Letter from the Editor (http://www.igda.org/casual/quarterly/2_4/index.php)
IGDA Casual Games SIG 2007-2008 Initiatives (http://www.igda.org/casual/quarterly/2_4/index.php?id=1)
Improving Communication with your Sound Designer, Part 3 (http://www.igda.org/casual/quarterly/2_4/index.php?id=2)
Understanding Digital Rights Management and Anti-Piracy Technologies (http://www.igda.org/casual/quarterly/2_4/index.php?id=3)
Top-10 Data Review: Q2 and Q3, 2007 (http://www.igda.org/casual/quarterly/2_4/index.php?id=4)
You can find all the previous issues of the Quarterly here: Casual Games Quarterly Archive (http://www.igda.org/wiki/Casual_Games_SIG#IGDA_Casual_Games_Quarterly)
The SIG is always looking for more contributors. Please consider contributing an article if you have something to say to casual game developers. Contact James@Reflexive.net to discus article ideas for future issues of the Quarterly. The deadline for our next issue is less than two weeks away. That issue will be printed and distributed at GDC in February.
James C. Smith
01-18-2008, 07:51 AM
Here are a few quotes from my Top-10 Data Review (http://www.igda.org/casual/quarterly/2_4/index.php?id=4) article.
Hidden Object games continued to dominate the Casual Game portals’ top 10 lists throughout Q2 and Q3 of 2007. Games like Little Shop of Treasures, Mortimer Beckett, Dream Day Wedding, and The Magician’s Handbook continue the success of this core play mechanic that was made popular by I Spy and Mystery Case Files. The click management mechanic that was made popular by Diner Dash is still very popular on many portals thanks to new variations demonstrated in games such as Turbo Pizza, Sally's Salon, Nanny Mania, Posh Shop and Diner Dash: Flo on the Go. Games like Virtual Villagers 2 and Alice Greenfingers kept the sim core mechanic among the top five most popular casual game mechanics. Match-3 games like Bejeweled 2, Burger Rush, and Cradle of Rome were still fairly popular on some portals in Q2, but by Q3 the match-3 games barely showed up in any portal top 10 lists. The up and coming star seems to be adventure games. Games such as Dream Chronicles, Nancy Drew and Return to Mysterious Island have brought this classic game genre to the casual space. It is a bit of a stretch to call Azada an adventure game, but this recent hit in the casual space has more in common with adventure games than it does with other casual games.
blah blah blah - Background about where the numbers come from - blah blah blah
blah blah blah - Lots of interesting tables that don't work in a forum post - blah blah blah
Although many of the casual game portals sell the same games, and many of the same games and same mechanics are popular across all the portals, there are still many differences worth noting. Hidden object games are very popular everywhere, but they seem to do better on Big Fish than on any other portal. We estimate that in Q2, 63% of the unit sales at Big Fish were for hidden object games. In Q3 this dropped down to 43% to make room for the 25% of sales that were adventure games.
Like most portals, MSN favored hidden object games in Q2 and Q3. But in Q2 MSN also sold a lot of match 3 games (estimated 35%) which is somewhat rare in 2007. Q3 was much more balanced on MSN with virtually a three-way tie between hidden object, click management and sim games, with match-3 falling down to 5th place and adventure games making their first strong showing on MSN.
Yahoo was the only major casual portal that didn’t seem to favor hidden object games in Q2 and Q3. Yahoo’s top 10 lists were dominated by click management games (nearly 50%) for both quarters followed by sim, match 3, and word games. Word games accounted for approximately 10% of Yahoo’s sales which is much higher than any other portal’s ranking of word games.
Real Arcade is consistently one of the most balanced and diverse portals. No single play mechanic accounted for more than 33% of the sales. Like most portals, Real ranked hidden object games the highest in both quarters and listed a significant amount of adventure games for the first time in Q3. Like MSN, Real had more match-3 games than most portals with Q2 being much stronger for match-3 games than Q3.
Reflexive’s Q2 was dominated by hidden object games (48%) and became somewhat more balanced in Q3. Reflexive constantly ranks sim games higher than most portals do.
blah blah blah - More disclaimers about the data source - blah blah blah
blah blah blah - Plug for www.Game-Sales-Charts.com - blah blah blah
01-18-2008, 07:56 AM
Personally I think the rise of adventure games in the casual space is the most exciting thing in that data post there; it's a genre I could see doing very well in the casual market, but it has room for so much depth as compared to most other casual-friendly genres. Just personally speaking, I don't think I could stomach making a match-3 or HO game, but adventure? Mmm.
01-23-2008, 02:23 PM
Thanks for the summary, pretty much confirms my own vibe.
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