PopCap Chief Talks About Casual Games Becoming More Like Disney

PopCap....your ego is showing.


PopCap chief John Vechey sat down with The Guardian recently to discuss where casual games are going, and whether they could measure up to companies like Disney.  He thinks that gaming, especially casual gaming, has been growing with the successful games that have been coming out.  “Any game that has the success we’ve seen from some titles in the last year, increases the number of people who play games. There are people discovering gaming for the first time, because of Angry Birds” he said.  Of course that means big business for makers of casual games since the more players there are, the more games they are buying.

Of course the biggest worry for casual games are that they are saturating the market, and not just the casual market either.  These types of games are on consoles and handhelds as well; providing simple entertainment that is intended to be played in short bursts.  Essentially, they are meant to be casually played.  Despite the fact that casual games seem to be saturating the market, PopCap actually has a different view than most developers in the same area.  They stress quality over quantity, something that does not seem to be understood by much of anyone else.  “We’re like Pixar; they don’t feel the need to make 10 times as many movies as their competitors, but they do feel the need to keep making every movie great. We’re okay being the tortoise. The tortoise eventually wins the race” he said.

Some experts have been saying that companies like Rovio and PopCap could be become bigger than Disney, which is a tall order.  Until I see a PopCap theme park in several parts of the world, I wouldn’t be entirely convinced.  Vechey thinks that this is a pretty big claim to make, but thinks “that in 30 or so years, we’re going to look a lot more like Disney than we do right now.”  He added:  “I think the fact that the big media companies don’t have great interactive experiences for their audiences nailed yet, will mean that eventually, they’re going to start to look more like us.”

Casual games may never have quite the impact that a full fleshed out game would have, but there is no ignoring their popularity.  Vechey had said “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 traveling. It just sits there until there’s a game I absolutely have to play on it, which isn’t available on any other platform.”  In all truth he has a point, as I too often find myself not carrying my DS around with me like I would have before games on mobile phones got so good.  If I were to go on a long trip, I would bring my DS with me.  Every other time I go anywhere though, I play games on my iTouch.   However, games that I often find myself playing on mobile devices (like Bejeweled) don’t seem like they are ever going to hold my attention like a DS game, especially because I will often not play it for weeks on end.

Will casual games become as big as Disney?  Honestly, probably not; but it is still hard to ignore the success of companies like PopCap and Rovio.


[Source: The Guardian]

[Images courtesy of: PopCap and The Guardian]

Jessica Weimar
Jessica Weimar
Jessica Weimar

MASH Veteran

Jessica is clearly a fan of video games, or she wouldn't be writing for this site. She attends college and like most other staff on the site, has a day job that she despises. She spends most of her free time playing games with her boyfriend.

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