That’s the theme over at The Escapist this week. So what do they (or the writers) think the future holds?

Overall, casual gaming. The first article I read was “The Future Of PC Gamimg Isn’t You”. By “you” is meant the hardcore gamer, the one who waits impatiently for the big titles such as Bioshock, Hellgate: London, or Fallout 3. That primarily “18-34 male demographic”.

As the article points out, these gamers are in the minority today. In total, “casual gamers” are now the majority, and it’s a market that continues to grow.

We’ve had some discussions in the past about how to define “casual gamer”. And just when you think you may have the answer, along comes the other piece I read, titled “Casual Gaming”.

Only the first paragraph sounded much more like a typical hardcore session than a casual one. Indeed, it seems even in the world of “casual”, “hardcore” has raised its head already.

Of course, such dedicated gamers are very much a small portion of the whole. But as more people start playing these games, be it online or off, that could change.

After pondering the matter, I could see – sometime in the future – a sort of merge happening. The big companies are getting heavily into casuals, and they’re spending the big bucks.

That doesn’t mean they’re going to stop the “AAA” titles, with those multi-million-dollar budgets. There may be fewer of them, as casual income overtakes hardcore.

But I can see where the technology that’s used in those AAAs would spill over into the casual games, making them brighter and glitzier, giving them a more diverse playing experience, without necessarily making them “hardcore”.

And what would that mean for all the indies out there? Can they compete with the “big boys” as the dollars flow into casual gaming? Or will they be, in time, swallowed up by the likes of EA or Ubisoft?

Check out the articles and see what you think.

The Future Of PC Gaming Isn’t You

Casual Gaming