Is the ‘core’ gamer market saturated?

Analysts are still keen to draw up the mythical casual/hardcore divide, and has accused the core gamer market of being “saturated,” running a risk of stagnation if it doesn’t appeal more to the fictional Holy Grail that is the “casual market.”

IDG research uses the success of the Wii and DS to reach its conclusion, revealing that without Nintendo’s figures, the international game market decreased by seven percent. “The middling performance of the 360, coupled with the PS3’s slow start has led IDG to the conclusion that the core gamer market is in fact saturated,” claims the report.

Interesting points, but rather roundabout logic if you ask me. Firstly, removing any one company from global sales instantly makes for an inaccurate portrayal of the industry, especially given Nintendo’s massive success of late. It also seems to focus its findings on hardware sales more than software sales. Microsoft famously tells everyone who’s listening that the Xbox 360 sells more games than any other home console.

Put simply — casual gamers are not the savior of the games industry. Why? Because they are CASUAL. They don’t buy a lot of games, and constantly appealing to them won’t shift software. Removing one company from the equation and using that as proof of stagnation is rather silly, if you ask me, especially as it seems to hinge on the belief that only casual gamers own Wiis. An erroneous assumption, considering I bought one at launch, and know plenty of “core gamers” that did the same. 

Flawed report is flawed.

Jim Sterling