In today's Gamasutra cover story, we present the latest edition of Howard Wen's 'Analyze This,' in which we ask a rotating cast of the game industry's top analysts to answer our burning questions.
This week, we ask Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter, ABI Research's Mike Wolf, and DFC Intelligence's David Cole about the future of casual games, specifically:
"Nintendo is betting on a more 'casual gaming' experience for the Wii, and Microsoft has found success in Xbox Live Arcade. 'Simpler' games have already achieved enormous success on the Nintendo DS. (Over on the PC gaming side, for several years now, Web games such as Yahoo!'s gaming service have done extremely well, and EA's The Sims franchise has been a long-time staple for that company.) So could casual gaming be the future for the entire video game industry?"
In replying, Michael Pachter from Wedbush Morgan notes, among other things:
"Every receptionist in America will play Solitaire (for free) on a PC during the work day, since it comes with Windows. So Solitaire may have 20 million active players. However, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, with only 15 million discs sold, is likely to be a 'larger' game than solitaire when measured in dollars."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
to find out what they had to say, including plenty of insight on the relative importance of the casual game experience (no registration required).