I’ve spent a cumulative total of 30+ hours playing the Flash game Protector on the casual gaming website Kongregate. Thirty hours – three, zero. I know that because the site keeps track of what games I play and how much time I spend. Now compare that to a hit console game like Final Fantasy X – one of the most popular role playing games (RPG) franchises of all time. It took me about 100 hours from start to finish. You might say, “dude you need to get a life”, and you might be right, but I digress and that’s not the point.

The point is that in 1999, Final Fantasy X was a 2 year development project costing over $30 million US dollars involving over 100 developers. Protector was created in a few months by a couple of guys doing it in their spare time for next to nothing. Yet the time I, as a gamer, spent playing the addictive game was a whole third of the time I spent on Final Fantasy X. Every time I played Protector or any other game on Kongregate, I was exposed to advertising. My 100 hours spent playing Final Fantasy X I saw exactly zero ads. Now even though I didn’t actually click on any of the ads, that’s not the point. That just means they need better advertising.

Final Fantasy X sold millions of copies worldwide and made millions of dollars. I don’t know how much Protector makes in advertising revenue. But since it was the number two game on Kongregate for a long time, I’m willing to bet it’s not chump change considering the effort involved in creating it. I think there’s definitely a market for casual games. They are more approachable to a wider audience because it costs nothing, the effort involved in learning to play a casual game is usually lower, and the time commitment is usually less as well.

If I had $30 million dollars to develop games, I wouldn’t spend 2 years creating one game. I’d launch hundreds if not thousands of ships, I mean mini casual games for all sorts of platforms.

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