Casual Notes. Part Two
What kind of games will you be playing in the coming 2007? On what device? Where are you going to get them from? Already mused over this? If not, here is some thought-provoking information we managed to gather at CGA: Europe East 2006.
So, during the conference we just caught several key figures at the gaming business and drove them to the wall to ask a couple of very straightforward questions. Let's see what we've figured out...
Jessica Tams, Managing director at Casual Games Association:
GM: Which games were the greatest hits this year?
Jessica Tams: Greatest hits? Interestingly enough, many of the greatest games were developed in Eastern Europe. Three of them were from Eastern Europe that were in top tens this year. The first one is Cake Mania that was developed by a company in Saint Petersburg, Russia. And the other was Mystery Case Files. There were actually two or three Mystery Case Files this year. Moreover, it was Virtual Villagers, and Fish Tycoon that sold very well as did Diner Dash 2.
GM: Which titles did you personally like most?
Jessica Tams: My favorite game is WordJong that was developed by EA. And I liked it because it's a word game where you are to make combinations to make common words. And my favorite game is Lego Racers that came out nearly five years ago by a company called High Voltage Software.
GM: What are the plans of Casual Games Association for 2007? What do you have in store for the fans?
Jessica Tams: First of all we're going set events to help game developers make better games. And we're going to be doing a casual game award show. It's going to be a voting for the best game so that everybody will be able to see what the best games are as voted by the fans and also by the people in CGA. So, these are the big things that are coming out this year.
Jeff Hendricks, Developer Relationships Manager with Oberon Media
GM: What games in your opinion were the biggest things in 2006?
Jeff Hendricks: My favorite games in 2006 were Luck Charm Deluxe and Cosmic Stacker.
GM: What do you predict for 2007? What will be the big games in 2007 like?
Jeff Hendricks: If you had asked me this question at this time last year, I don't think I would have said Fish Tycoon, or MCF, or the other big games that we've had. So, it's interesting to try to predict. I think the big game will be something ... we don't know yet. I don't think this will be another match3 game. Somebody just takes an interesting idea and it just strikes a cord with the audience.
GM: What does Oberon Media have in store for 2007?
Jeff Hendricks: Oohhh... All kinds of stuff. The thing I am really excited about for developers, is that we're going to expand our services, localization services, and getting games across internationally. I bet the most exciting thing for developers that will be very-very helpful is advertising in our web games. So up to now making your web version is just to promote your downloadable game. But now it's going to be more exciting because you're going to get advertising revenue from folks playing the game... We're also expanding into retail, and then we're going to be doing our prescore into the online communities. So, there's going to be a lot of exciting things for developers.
GM: What about casual game fans?
Jeff Hendricks: We have a really cool game coming up. It's going to be a cross between an RPG and a sort of Fish Tycoon. But it's not about fish, and a little of MCF type stuff. I wish I could describe it better. It's just top secret. Believe me, it's going to be cool. I think it's going to appeal to something that all women look forward to.
Ernie Ramirez, Chief Financial Officer, Reflexive Entertainment, Inc.
GM: Which game was the best selling one this year?
Ernie Ramirez: I believe that CakeMania is the best-selling game. I think the best one was Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects.
GM: And what's going behind the curtain at Reflexive Development Studio? Do you have any interesting projects coming?
Ernie Ramirez: We are now working on a present for the fans of Ricochet Recharged. I can't really say what it is, but I assure you, Ricochet fans will be happy.
Jessica Sachs, Developer Relationships Manager, Big Fish Games, Inc.
GM: What games were most popular this year?
Jessica Sachs: They were Mystery Case Files 2: Prime Suspects, Virtual Villagers, Hidden Expedition: Titanic, Travelogue 360: Paris, and Aveyond. I am basing on the information of TOP 10 lists of such gaming portals as RealArcade, Oberon, and iWin.
GM: What great changes do you expect to happen in the casual game market in 2007?
Jessica Sachs: First of all, community aspect will be coming into casual games market. Multiplayer games are becoming popular. And of course, we expect even more game hits to come. Such companies as Oberon, BigFish and iWin produce high-quality, sophisticated casual games and will continue to do so.
From Big Fish you can expect the third installment of Mystery Case Files called MCF: Ravenshurst. This game will be published in December. We also keep on working on Travelogue, so quite soon you'll be able to travel to more locations.
Thorsten Kolisch, managing director, INTENIUM GmbH, a casual game publisher in European markets.
GM: Which were the most interesting titles that your company published in the European market in 2006?
Thorsten Kolisch: The most interesting titles in 2006 have been Treasure Island, Bengal and Azteca that we published recently. And it's been for 5 weeks in top 5 in Germany. These titles were published in German and French languages and English, of course, as well.
GM: What does your company have in store for its customers in the coming 2007?
Thorsten Kolisch:Chicken Attack 2. Everyone is waiting for it. We plan on launching Diamond Drop 2, we're going to make a sequel to that. We also plan on releasing Fairy Jewels. Plus we're working on two games, but we haven't decided on their names yet. Yet these are definitely promising titles. Altogether in 2007 we're going to launch about 12 up to 15 games on our own, and we're going to launch about 50 up to 75 games at least in the online, and we'll publish another 12-15 up to 20 retail versions for CDs.
GM: What projects to you expect to be most successful?
Thorsten Kolisch: Chicken Attack 2. It was so successful recently. It was very popular last year. And Fairy Jewels are promising to be very successful. I am pretty sure about it.
Of course, this is a small part of what is going to happen in the gaming world in the coming year. Intrigued? Then just cross your fingers and make a wish. Christmas is coming soon...
digg it! | del.icio.us