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Ubisoft going casual; prepare to be left in the dust hardcore gamer

May 21 // Robert Summa
   @summaaftershow

I'm sure some of you can see the writing on the wall, right? With the success of the Wii, DS, and services like POGO, the casual games market is set to be the largest, most highly-focused group of untapped money that video game companies will be looking to exploit -- perhaps shifting resources toward an easier way to profit and away from hardcore gaming risks. The Wii and DS fit in perfectly to this idea. Each offer simple controls, a simple interface, and games that are easy for anyone to pick up and play.

So where does that leave us, the hardcore gamer? We're the new indie music snobs. The latest public step toward this inevitability is the fact that Ubisoft has now created a separate development house specifically geared toward the casual game market on the Wii and DS. What kind of offerings will you be getting? Check it out:

The new casual games team will first be working on a new product line called “My Coach,” and will also be expanding the existing Petz line of games. The Petz games allow players to raise and play with animals and sold 3.5 million units worldwide during fiscal '06-'07, according to Ubisoft. Petz will be coming to the Nintendo Wii for the first time.

The new line of My Coach games will apparently give gamers guidance in different areas. My Word Coach is slated for Wii and DS this fall, and is being developed with the help of linguists. It’s supposed to help expand users’ vocabulary and verbal communication.

Sooner or later, we're going to be the fringe, looking from the outside, wondering how we all of a sudden became so insignificant. Of course, this is not to say we'll always have our certain set of great games, but the variety and number of titles may slowly dwindle as a result of the casual lure.

[Via Next-Gen


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