Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Mass Market Games

This is the first Christmas season since I've been a full time member of the games industry. As I buy presents for people, the need for mass market games has really stood out to me. I live in a pretty isolated world of gamers. Everyone I hang out with or work with are serious, hardcore players. So when it came time to buy a game for my sister's boyfriend, I was at a loss. Then it occured to me: EA games! I would rarely buy one as a present for any of my hardcore friends, but I know that my mass-market friends wont turn the same sceptical eye towards games like Need For Speed Underground 2 or Goldeneye 2. They dont even know what metacritic is, let alone care what a game scores on it.

This isnt a bad thing. Up till now, like many of my collegues, I've had a slight disdain for the somewhat watered down, over compromised style of EA's non-sports games. But the need for them is there. Not many mass-markets are going to pick up Knights of the Old Republic, World of Warcraft or even Prince of Persia and 'get' those kind of games.

This realization will inform my design from now on. Will my sister's boyfriend get this? Would I buy this game as a present for someone who is not hardcore?


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