Casual games are usually games which are easily accessible, easy to pick up and put down without too much thought into learning the mechanics. Hardcore games usually have depth and complexity that can take a larger period to learn depending on the game. Due to the generally steeper learning curve it will not appeal to people who want a game that is easy or require commitment in order to progress. Casual games have largely transitioned to mobile games were they can reach a huge demographic with over a billion people owning a smartphone, and that statistic was in 2012 alone. Now it is 2015 that number is sure to be higher. So why are they so many casual games on mobile? One main reason is due to the device itself. It goes everywhere with you and you are most likely to use it in all types of different situations. So it’s logical to make a game you can pick up and play for five minutes and put it back down quickly, of course you don’t have a lot of time to learn it so complex mechanics need to go. It has not stopped hardcore games itself from being on there though. Bioshock has been ported over, Xcom Enemy within and even a command and conquer has been made for it. But they are still not ideal to be played a such a device. Casual games also have a tendency for a free to play model, or pay to win. People that don’t have a big interest in games probably won’t pay for them which is why the free to play model is so great for those people. They download the game without being charged for money and the developers can get money from ad revenue or micro-transaction.
Causal games can still be found on consoles and pc, one game that comes to mind is lips on the Xbox 360 which is a casual party game in which you can have one or more players sing into microphones. Xbox has also aimed there Kinect device towards casual gamers with a young target audience demographic. Some games available for Kinect are Kinectimals, raving rabids live and kicking, Kinect rush and so on. These games are aimed to be more family friendly and social compared to xbox games and opens up a wider audience for Microsoft. Just like in a way the Nintendo Wii did expanding is reach to an older demographic – grandparents who you would not normally expect to be gamers are now gamers thanks to the casual fun games that were created.
A hardcore gamer is a gamer who is somebody that games frequently playing games with complex mechanics, various difficulty levels etc. I would say that they are people who follow the industry and play a broad range of games old and new. Some hardcore games that come to mind is Bloodbourne, which is a game were the player could die in a few hits if they are not careful. One simple mistake can cost them losing a boss fight or blood echoes which is a currency you use to level up and buy items. Boss fights are around every corner and the game is generally unforgiving. A game like this would not appeal to casual gamers just because of the amount of time it takes to progress. You don’t get the feeling of progression until you defeat a boss and move onto the next area and a player could be on this stage for a while. Were a lot of games make you feel epic and unstoppable, this is game that does quite the contrary making you feel so small and insignificant. Which makes it all the more rewarding progressing.Rather contradictory though, I am not saying all hardcore gamers play hard games or multiple games, they could be just be playing the same game and putting a lot of hours into it.
But to sum it up I would say that a hardcore gamers is somebody that invest a lot of time and interest into games where as a casual gamer would dip into gaming now and again to pass some time by and not take it as seriously as a hardcore gamer.
January 16, 2014