Wednesday, October 11, 2006

the games we play

There has been a lot of discussion lately about whether games are becoming too complex and inaccessible, especially for people outside the core gamer demographic. Some people feel that games shouldn’t require hours of commitment and high-levels of skill to play. Nintendo has opted to develop content to appeal to people outside what is typically considered the average gamer demo, and has been successful with titles like Brain Age, which has sold over 4 million units to date worldwide. With the growing success of casual games, and products like Guitar Hero and EyeToy, even Microsoft seems to be rethinking their strategy, offering up broader content, like Viva Pinata, and “smaller games” through Xbox Live Arcade. Of course, with only 20% of all game releases accounting for 80% of revenues, and development budgets rising to new heights every year, who wouldn’t want to court the audience of gamers and potential gamers who want to play, but may be intimidated by the investment of time and money many AAA titles require?

What do you think? Do you think games have gotten too complex? What game(s) are you currently playing? What platform(s) are you playing on? How many hours, on average, do you play each week? What kind of player do you consider yourself: hardcore, core, casual, or something else? Is there something, in particular, that makes you want to purchase a new game or game product?

There also seems to be a sea change occurring with regard to how games are distributed. An increasing number of products are being offered for sale as digital downloads. Do you downloaded games? How do you feel about downloading versus purchasing from either a traditional brick and mortar store, or an online store? So many questions… Tell us what you think.