PopCap chief executive John Vechey spoke out on the growing casual and mobile games market, claiming that major companies like Rovio or Zynga could eventually grow to resemble multimedia corporations like Disney, .
In a recent interview with the Guardian
, Vechey said that in time, the growing audience for casual and mobile games will begin to expect more ways to interact with products from their favorite developers, spurring these companies to expand beyond game development.
"I think that what's going to happen is, at some point we're going to see that gaming is just one aspect of what we do," he told the Guardian. "Whether that's toys or movies or TV or some other medium, it's another way that customers gain appreciation for it."
With so many players turning to mobile phones for casual gaming, however, Vecey said that dedicated game platforms like the PSP and 3DS face significant challenges looking forward.
"I think the thing with portable gaming – and portable gaming devices – is they all have the same problem; the mobile phone. I don't carry my DS with me anymore when I go travelling. It just sits there until there's a game I absolutely have to play on it, which isn't available on any other platform," he explained.
Vecey pointed out that while gaming handhelds might be in trouble, Apple's iPad 2 offers interesting opportunities for the casual space, particularly noting its ability to enable local multiplayer with little hardware setup.
In an effort to further its commitment to the casual and mobile space, PopCap recently launched a new experimental games label
called 4th & Battery, which released the deceptively grim platformer Unpleasant Horse
for iOS devices last month.