Nintendo's upcoming DSi handheld adds the ability to download games online -- a feature that seems like a golden opportunity for casual developers, given the DS's current appeal to their audience and their history with digital distribution with PC.
So when Gamasutra sat down with PopCap co-founder Jason Kapalka as part of an in-depth feature interview
, we asked whether the company's looking ahead to DSi strategy.
"The truth is, we're just getting started on the DS right now," Kapalka said. "We're doing Peggle for DS first and after that, probably we'll see what comes up."
"But yeah, the idea of doing downloadable content always seems like a pretty cool thing," he added. "It needs to be seen... like the Wii is cool, but WiiWare, I don't know yet; I'm not clear that WiiWare has actually turned out to be as big of a success as they were hoping at this point."
"Part of it is just that the Wii is not a great platform for downloadable," Kapalka continues. "Maybe it'll get better, but I'm not sure it will."
Xbox Live, on the other hand, has turned out to be quite a strong platform for PopCap, proving that downloadable content outside of the PC space can carry some weight for the company.
"So the DSi -- yeah, maybe, it's hard to say," he says. "And part of this stuff is, unfortunately you have to make some decisions about which platforms to pursue and which not to. But maybe. We're definitely doing DS stuff."
Kapalka also spoke about the cloning phenomenon in the casual space. "We've been accused of ripping off of some games," he admits.
"At the same time, you don't usually hear people saying that World of Warcraft
ripped off EverQuest
. Or that Half-Life
ripped off Quake
"The similarities are pretty close; you can't imagine how World of Warcraft
could have existed without EverQuest
. It's not possible. Or any of games now, without World of Warcraft
You can now read the full feature
, in which Kapalka discusses PopCap's latest title Bejeweled Twist
, the delicate balance inherent in complex games for casual audiences, and why hex squares in puzzlers are "repellent."