Just in time to complement PC Games – End of The Road?, comes an article on CNN about the rise of casual games.

Products of this type have been gaining ground steadily, and not with the usual “young male demographic”. No surprise to us, these games have most appeal to gamers over 30, and by far the majority are women.

What’s interesting is that more development money is being invested in these products. Casual games appear on the verge of leaving “poverty row” and emerging into the big time. Some people, at least, have their eyes on the larger market.

Of course, these games are not the usual action/strategy/shooter/RPG types. They tend to be a little more on the intellectual side. We could think of them as “quiet games”, something that’s attractive to players needing to unwind after a long day, rather than get the adrenaline flowing.

However, one person in the piece points out that, as more money is spent on making the games (which are amazingly cheap in comparison with the typical “blockbuster”), creativity may end up taking a back seat.

More investment means more risk, and casual games could fall into the same trap as the more “mainstream” ones, where everyone plays follow-the-leader, or “stay with what works”, instead of coming up with innovations.

I also wonder – should that happen – if casual games will end up with the same terrible “buggy on release” problems that the “big games” have. While the casuals are nowhere near as complex, increased development may push them in that direction.

Read the article and see what you think.

Casual Games Go Upscale