Going With The Flow

Going With The Flow
Casual Gamers Are Better Than You

Jim Sterling | 29 Mar 2011 09:07
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This investment in the new and the unique is something that your core gamer still needs to learn. Of course, you may think that you're the one with the open mind since you only play deep, meaningful games, but how trusting are you of a new IP? The fact that Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days sold over a million copies while Enslaved: Odyssey to the West barely managed to scrape past 400,000 units sold seems to indicate that core gamers rarely trust new IP over sequels.


If it's not made by an established studio working on a proven IP, people claim that they'll "wait for the bargain bins." I ask you, does your typical casual gamer care which studio made a game, or whether it's the sequel to a title with a 90% Metacritic average? More than likely, your soccer moms and your grannies do not care one iota about such things. When they see something unique and new, they'll give it a shot.

Maybe you've been burned one too many times by new games. I understand that. I'm not saying you're a terrible human being for being more careful with your cash, but are you better for the industry with your lack of trust? Maybe not. Many unique games - Killer 7, Okami, Psychonauts, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, to name but a few - have fallen by the wayside due to the hardcore gamer's inherent skepticism. Core gamers cannot be counted on to support good games, but casual gamers can be counted on to support almost anything, so long as it piques their interest.

Another major difference between the hardcore gamer and the casual gamer is piracy. I don't wish to rake over old leaves, but it's worth pointing out that piracy has led to a dearth of traditional portable titles. Nearly every "hardcore" gamer I've ever met with a Nintendo DS has bought an R4 Card to download any game they wish. Is it hardly surprising that games like Imagine Babyz and Brain Age become the biggest sellers on Nintendo's system? While I am sure there are exceptions, most of your soccer moms aren't involved with piracy. It is the "core" gamer who is more tech-savvy and willing to illegally download games - just tell a gaming community that piracy is wrong and you'll be bombarded with abuse and threats from those trying to justify their actions.

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