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   2007-01-03

 

What are you going to play in 2007?Brand-new Brands - What are the Games for the  Year to come?

 

Several years ago what we saw in casual - balls, bubbles, boxes, jewels..."Match 3" games captured the attention of the people who browsed their favorite game developers' sites, or portals. What do we see now, in the beginning of 2007? The industry shaped up as a couple of huge companies who do not develop but sell games, and a couple of those who develop and sell through many different portals or just from own website; on the other side of the river we have a lot of small development studios and independent teams. Pretty hard business to survive, huh?

That's why I personally made all my friends and relatives BUY games instead of skipping to online versions and cropped gameplays, and buy from developers...It totally turned my mind upside down that a game I personally like might cost now 700k USD to be developed - wow-wow! It used to be some 30-50k...

 

Some ECON lesson from my college years: a casual game still costs 19.99$, so how many should they sell to justify the cost? Exactly 35,018 copies. An average game sells anything from 20 to 20k copies if to believe the recent reports from Casual Games Association...What does this lead us to? It means that the developers would be very careful about what title to produce.

 

Then, we should expect more sequels to the most resent games with "non-standard casual" gameplays, like Virtual Villagers, Fish Tycoon, Diners. Actually, we've already seen a "rise of clones/derivatives" on those gameplays which only proved the brand power those games possess.

 

So, like Bejeweled and Zuma appeared N-years ago to became brand-new brands in gaming, now we have:

  • ¨ Mystery Case Files Series: Huntsville, Prime Suspects, Hidden Expedition: Titanic,..., and the games from this line: Paparazzi, .....

  • ¨ Diner Dash: Diner Dash 2, Diner Dash® Flo on the Go, and the games from this line: Cake Mania, Delicious Deluxe, Carrie the Caregiver, Believe in Santa - Sandy's Story

  • ¨ Virtual Villagers and the games from this line: Westward, Kudos, Family Feud. (Who's next?)

These three managed to become powerful brands for the last year and something.

 

So, we are now leaving the era of "match 3" and enter the epoch of "arcade-core" gameplays.

 

Serious games

Good or bad? Depends on the angle we are looking at it at. At least we as players can have strong hopes that in couple of years we'll receive even more sophisticated and innovative gameplays. Yes, it would take that long taking into account alleviated cost of production (actually, it's our blame, players';) - we want more: more effects , more gameplay, more features, more playing time for 19.99$. So, let's move on this industry further!:)

 

Yours,

 

Al

 

 

 

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3 in a row, Action, Adventure, Arcade, Board games, Brain teasers, Business simulators, Detective games, Games for kids, Games for Windows, Hidden object, Hide and seek, I-spy, Latest games, Logic games, Mac games, Match 3, Micro management, Mobile games, Mystery games, Puzzle, Seek and Find, Simulation, Strategy games, Time management

Top 5 games
  1. Mystery Case Files: Escape from Ravenhearst
  2. The Christmas Spirit: Trouble in Oz
  3. Christmas Stories: A Little Prince
  4. Danse Macabre: A Lover's Pledge
  5. Sally's Salon: Beauty Secrets
  
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