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Casually Speaking about Games and E3

Several years ago, at another mobile conference, several speakers talked about the casual game player emerging because of the new device, the Blackberry. Sure phones did have games on them, but the playing was cumbersome.

Remember, I have never used a console, but I am a new game playing advocate.  Don’t you even start a conversation with me about “Angry Birds.”  I’m moving up the levels quickly, thank you very much.  If you pick on my “Pocket Frogs” I will punch back about “Plants vs. Zombies.”   I have become the quintessential new gamer. 

Several years ago, at another mobile conference, several speakers talked about the casual game player emerging because of the new device, the Blackberry. Sure phones did have games on them, but the playing was cumbersome.  It was this new “smart phone” that made it a bit easier to play, but the graphics were clunky.   Solitaire is a casual game that has been featured on all phones and computer since day one (and one that I am addicted to).  This is the type of game, along with word games and “bejeweled” games that women are attracted to.  I played it on the Blackberry, but didn’t really like it. 

What these speakers at this conference knew, and we didn’t, the mobile devices were going to so robust in what they can provide an experience so dynamic, that everyone – young, old, male, female – were going to want to play games. (a hint of what the iPhone was going to be).   According these they guys, women would be the next target for the game publisher and casual games would be their game of choice.  The publishers found that women will play a game while waiting for the kids or in line at the market, anywhere they find a spare few minutes.  And they have to have games to appease the young ones, which I have a bunch for the kids around me. 

Going into E3 this year, I was hoping for a revolution or at least an evolution, at least in the game buiness.  NO!  It was almost all consoles.  Or those handheld game devices.  There were the few publishers that are pandering to the casual player and showed an iPad, Droid or iPhone with a similar game to the one on the big screen.  But you could tell the console publishers were keeping those App neophytes at bay and would not let them play in the big pool with them.  

So, as a newly minted gamer, I again felt left out from a game point of view. But there was a great evolution that I noticed at E3.   This year, I felt the sisterhood.  I was not one out of a hundred or more men.   I was there with female colleagues who are making their mark on the game business. So, game publishers and console makers, I tip my iPad to you. 

Jan Nagel's picture
Jan Nagel, Entertainment Marketing Diva
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