The Gap Between Casual And Hardcore Continues To Widen
You can hate the terms all you want; they've long since become entrenched in the industry's lexicon.
If analysts, publishers and most industry insiders continue to use the terms to define specific groups, then they will remain relevant.
And the point is, it seems the gap between what we deem "hardcore" and "casual" will continue to widen. Back in the day, there really wasn't a differentiation between video games. If you played games, you were a fan. They were all pretty hard, which meant that if you were going to have any fun at all, you needed to invest a fair amount of time. It wasn't something the average adult picked up and played for a half-hour at the end of a long work day. They were kid's toys and that was that.
Now, however, more and more games are coming out for the casual demographic; i.e., the group that doesn't list gaming as a primary hobby. The mobile explosion widened the gap considerably between "gamer's games" like Demon's Souls and "faux games" like Angry Birds. Plus, with so many smaller indie games flooding various marketplaces, and gaming now being a mainstream form of entertainment, there's no doubt that casuals are being serviced. Then, we hear from EA that their games are "still too hard."
Obviously, this means they'll keep targeting the massive group of casuals, which in turn means the hardcore are already whining. The difference between Bloodborne and your average free mobile game is gargantuan; we're talking about two completely different universes. But so long as there's an audience for both, we'll keep seeing more and more hardcore titles, and simpler titles for the casual crowd. It's inevitable.
2/5/2015 9:59:15 PM Ben Dutka