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Hardcore Gamers on the Decline?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the coring-out-the-hardcore dept.

Businesses 143

Ars Technica's Opposable Thumbs blog takes a look at the numbers for last year, and makes an interesting observation: hardcore gamers are probably not the future. Specifically, last year's videogame sales numbers show a huge trend in the adoption of mass-market licensed games. We've also previously discussed the extreme popularity of casual games. Despite Gears of War selling around the same amount as Cars (both around 2 million units), the cost in time and money to create Gears was substantially greater than the cost to create the Pixar-licensed title. The result? "As growth continues, we're bound to see some substantial changes. As it stands, hardcore gamers are still a pivotal purchasing force in the games market: most of the top ten titles were what I would consider "hardcore" games. However, the trend away from the hardcore and towards the casual is becoming increasingly more predominant. We've talked quite a bit lately about the growing demand and response for casual games, and when coupled with the shocking sales of licensed products, I'm left wondering whether or not the number of hardcore gamers is dwindling."

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maybe... (4, Insightful)

14CharUsername (972311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000466)

the number of casual gamers is rising faster than the number of hardcore gamers? Maybe there will be more licensed crap but still be the same amount of quality original games made?

Re:maybe... (5, Funny)

rev_sanchez (691443) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000888)

Hardcore gamers also tend not to mate and thus not reproduce.

Re:maybe... (2, Informative)

iocat (572367) | more than 7 years ago | (#18006914)

Hardcore gamers also tend to buy way more software than casual gamers, making their absolute numbers less important. It's the 80-20 rule: 20% of consumers are responsible for 80% of the software purchases. Also, don't count on the fact that Cars was cheaper to make that Gears of War; especially when you figure the license cost into the development.

Obviously licensed games get a huge marketing boost, and they are much better than they were years ago (see Kim Possible: What's the Switch for an example of a steller licensed game) as publishers have realized that sales are tied to the license *and* the game quality, but anyone predicting the death of hardcore gamers (or games) is a fool.

Here's an helpful analogy: There are a lot more general fiction readers than sci-fi readers. Clearly, someday soon there will be no science fiction books.

Re:maybe... (1)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001054)

I think the worst case is that hardcore gaming becomes a niche market that someone steps up to, much like the adventure game and complex strategy game market.

However, if casual gaming eclipses hardcore gaming in mainstream profits, it'll die out of mainstream production. There's just no good business reason to divert company resources over to financial non-starters.

Re:maybe... (-1, Troll)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001408)

Exactly, which brings us to the real question...

Who cares?

I don't think that it matters whether or not it's happening.

Re:maybe... (2, Insightful)

14CharUsername (972311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001438)

If there is money there someone will step up. Yeah a making a game base off a movie will sell 2M copies, but how much did you have to pay for the license? And look at how much the Warcraft trademark is worth now, and that came from a strategy game which is a niche market.

Game companies would be stupid not to make niche games. Just like how hollywood makes artsy films. Sometimes they lose money, but sometimes you can create an entire francise out of it.

Re:maybe... (3, Interesting)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18004492)

Yeah a making a game base off a movie will sell 2M copies, but how much did you have to pay for the license?

This is a nice point. Let's say I'm an investor and have a choice between two investments:
1) A game that will cost $2 million in development, $8 million in license fees, and $0 million in marketing and will sell X copies.
2) A game that will cost $5 million in development, $0 million in license fees, and $5 million in marketing and will sell X copies.

Of course, we don't know how many copies will sell, but bear with me for a moment. Market theory dicates that the total cost of the game should yield a certain number of game sales. If we knew #1 would sell more games, then the licenser should theoretically charge more money.

At the end of the day, I'd rather invest in #2. Here's why- at the end of the product life, I've now got a brand/franchise that I can sequel and make a nice bit of money on. Essentially, I've gotten profits and built up an asset. Halo/Warcraft are great examples of the value of building a franchise.

With choice #1, I've gotten some profits, but next time, I'll have to again pay those licensing fees. Essentially, I'm back to square one.

If you want to take things a step further, I would bet the return on investment for a licensed game is less than that of an original game because the licensed game is more a "sure bet." Just like in the stock market, low risk investments typically yield lower returns.

Re:maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18006208)

Maybe some hardcore gamers aren't buying the new games and are (at least temporarily) not represented in the market.

Personally, I'm thoroughly sick of the terrorism simulators that have been popular in the past few years. At the moment, 8 of the 10 top games on the GameSpy network are either blatant WW2 simulators or blatant GWOT simulators. At least one (America's Army) is arguably a GWOT recruitment tool.

Maybe hardcore gamers like myself would rather view gaming as a unique sport instead of an advertisement for boot camp.

Until recently, I played Unreal Tournament 2004 frequently, which is one of the few top-ranked games today that tries to portray gaming as a sport. That was, until I discovered Alien Arena 2006 and realized that some of the best hardcore games today are free.

I don't play commercial games anymore. I don't have to, thanks to the generosity of id Software (for the free Quake engines) and the hard work of indie studios like COR Entertainment. Also, I don't have to deal with the hassles of physical media, copy protection, CD keys, monthly fees, or copyright warnings.

Now when I'm looking for a new game, I just visit a site like StingyGaming [] or Planet Freeware [] and find what I'm looking for, free, for immediate download.

While I'm still a hardcore gamer, I'm not a game consumer, because the gaming industry isn't producing games that I want to play.

Answer (5, Funny)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000480)

"I'm left wondering whether or not the number of hardcore gamers is dwindling."

As it happens, no. They're just all playing WoW.

Re:Answer (4, Informative)

Conception (212279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001254)

The parent may have meant this as a joke, but I think it's partially true. WoW pulls millions of gamers out of the purchasing pool. I've seen many a post of people saying that they used to buy games, but why spend 50-100 bucks a month on games, when they can just play Wow.

Re:Answer (3, Interesting)

darkhitman (939662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001344)

Unfortunately, it was both meant to be funny and a joke. I used to buy, say, a game or two a month. Then WoW and GW, and more recently Vanguard, entered the picture. Cut to a year and a half later: the last game I bought that wasn't an MMO was Gears of War; haven't played it in a month, probably. But I don't play games 12 hours a day, only a couple -- and those couple are easily filled by Vanguard.

Re:Answer (-1, Troll)

aztec rain god (827341) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002074)

I can't stand those unfunny jokes.

Re:Answer (2, Interesting)

Durrill (908003) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002588)

I used to buy a game on every pay cheque, which included WoW back on its launch weekend in 2004. Since then i only receive games from friends and family on special occaisions such as my birthday or christmas, i don't buy them myself anymore. I'm still playing WoW, i'm not into the expansion, and the fact that i'm playing with 10 real life friends kinda sets the fact that i won't be buying pc/console games very often anymore. Funny or not, the 'Answer' post is indeed fact.

Re:Answer (3, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002716)

s/WoW/other MMOG/ and you've taken huge chunks out of the pool.

If not for DAoC and EVE, I would've been tempted to buy the following:

Half-Life 2
Battlefield 1942/BF2
Joint Operations
A few others - Oblivion looks pretty cool.

Other than MMOGs, the only games I've bought in the past 4-5 years were iD Software products, and that was a mixture of desire for the product itself (they make good games) and desire to support a company that actively supported Linux gaming. (Yes, a MAJOR factor in purchasing Quake 4 and Doom 3 was that they had native Linux ports.)

Re:Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18003902)

Don't forget that there's still a significant number of hardcore players involved in older games - Quake 3, Counterstrike, Starcraft, etc. ...unless we're talking about the 'hardcore gamers' that buy a new game, play it through with a 'strategy guide' and then buy 2 more title next week.

Re:Answer (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18006688)

So would you say you're addicted? In real life, even people who have bumper stickers saying "I'd rather be skiing/diving/golfing" still enjoy an occasional alternate pastime. They love their sport, but they'll go out bowling, biking, or just drinking with friends. If you can't bring yourself to try another game after several years of play, you may have a problem.

Re:Answer (1)

recursiv (324497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002902)


Re:Answer (1)

pissedoffamerican (1002647) | more than 7 years ago | (#18003074)

I'm happy to say you're wrong about that, even if I am the only one who doesn't play WoW.

Re:Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18003190)

Well not only that and think about ho wmany people would rather pirate the game than buy it I mean havent most of you heard of the poor gamer ?

Mundane (1)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 7 years ago | (#18005606)

The only reason that the number of hardcore players is decreasing is because playing that much is becoming mainstream. It's not hardcore anymore. It's normal. Like being a geek is nearly chic now.

7 million Wow accounts and rising. Add the growth in the console markets, etc. Eventually it will be just like watching a TV channel. Totally mundane and ubiquitous.

I don't see the equivalency. (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000560)

So hard core gamers can't buy mass-market licensed games? Maybe these licensed games are finally starting to be decent. There are some licensed games (ex. X-Men Legends/Marvel Alliance) that are licensed and appeal to gamers who I would consider "hard core." Of course they also like their "Gear of War."

Re:I don't see the equivalency. (3, Interesting)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001294)

The author of the article is seeing a trend.

Happy-Feet, the Ps2 game had over 1,000,000 million pre-orders, before it was released; the game rated below 5.0 on both IGN and gamespot, and didn't cost that much to make (I'm not at liberty to discuss numbers.)

Do the math. Sure, there is cross-over, but there is overwhelming evidence that if you're in the market for money alone, you should be chasing WB licenses, not hardcore gamers.

Re:I don't see the equivalency. (2, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18003512)

I think the point the GP was trying to make (and I agree with) is that contrary to what the article is claiming "hardcore" shouldn't be based on the types of games being purchased. IMO "hardcore" describes the amount of time someone sets aside out of the rest of their life to game.

If you only ever play Happy Feet, Cars, Open Season, and countless other cheap poorly rated franchised games but you play them every waking moment, I'd say that you're a hardcore gamer.

A casual gamer doesn't pre-order games, I'm sorry, casual implies that they were walking by the store and saw a cardboard cut out that drew them in, or played the Guitar Hero kiosk and decided it might be fun for their next party. The kind of person that maybe plays a game among friends every other week or so. The kind of person who would pre-order a game, particularly something that is far below AAA status, the kind of person who would wait in line for hours to play WiiSports and Zelda, these are not casual gamers, these are hardcore gamers.

Lets change the context... would you consider someone any less an alcoholic if all they drank was cheap mass produced beer? Uncultured maybe, but certainly not any less "hardcore". By the same measure if someone drank every night after work would you consider them a "casual" drinker? Would you consider someone who waited outside the liquor store before they opened a "casual" drinker?

I find this particularly ironic considering I just wrote an article citing reasons why the market is becoming MORE Hardcore [] .

cash cow (4, Insightful)

the dark hero (971268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000562)

Despite Gears of War selling around the same amount as Cars (both around 2 million units), the cost in time and money to create Gears was substantially greater than the cost to create the Pixar-licensed title.

But is Cars really that great of a game? It sold 2 million because it was a popular movie and the game's sole purpose was to rake in more cash. In a year is Cars going to continue to sell as many units as Gears? Moreover, in many years are people going to care about Cars or will they remember how awesome Gears was and how they can't wait for part 2 to release?

Re:cash cow (1, Redundant)

rwven (663186) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000714)

You have to take replay value and longevity into account as well. If GoW came out with a paid expansion you'd probably see the vast majority of players buy it too...

Re:cash cow (3, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000768)

But is Cars really that great of a game? It sold 2 million because it was a popular movie and the game's sole purpose was to rake in more cash.

From a business/investment perspective, that is all that matters.

Moreover, in many years are people going to care about Cars or will they remember how awesome Gears was and how they can't wait for part 2 to release?

That depends directly on the success of Cars 2, the movie. If it is a big winner, the game most likely will be as well.

In a year is Cars going to continue to sell as many units as Gears?

In a year, the investors will have moved on to the next mass market title. While the developers may care about milking every last sale, the investors know that the vast bulk of the return was made within the first 6-months or so. Their business plan doesn't take into account residual sales over years to come.

Re:cash cow (2, Informative)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001584)

Small quibble,
It's probably true that after the investing is done, they can just let the returns roll in while they're looking at new investments.

But the residual sales are likely taken in account even though they may be less significant than the initial surge. They would just be estimated, weighted for the time value( [] ), and then added into the overall expected return of the investment.

Re:cash cow (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001908)

This is what worries me about the industries "new" focus on demographics outside the traditional 18-34 year old male that has sustained it for so long. From a development and artistic perspective a lot of these games aren't anything new, a lot are very large steps backwards. It's the same platforming formula or mini-game, only with new controls so grandpa or junior doesn't have to spend as much time figuring it out.

People like to say that traditional games were stuck in the same rut, but I would disagree. Changes and improvements were incremental, but they were there if you looked. It takes time, but over the years these changes added up to wholly different experiences.

Inherently, there's nothing wrong with this. I think it's important to push gaming beyond its traditional boundaries. My concern is that publishers will see this as an easy out. Why spend X amount of dollars trying to make a game that will move a genre forward, when you can spend 1/10*X amount of dollars on a rehash of a decade old game with a new marketing spin.

Obviously it's not quite that simple and a lot of these games are still great games. Wii Sports is tons of fun. However, on the software side, it's incredibly dated gameplay. When the drive to expand the market to new demographics comes at the expense of innovating in established genres, I think it's a net loss for games as a medium.

Good Short Term Returns != Investment (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 7 years ago | (#18007070)

From a business/investment perspective, that is all that matters.

No, what matters is that the company doesn't dilute its brand if it hopes to continue milking it. Enter the Matrix sold a shitload of games and The Matrix Reloaded brought in truckloads of box office sales but look what happened afterwards. The Matrix Online has less than 50,000 subscribers, The Matrix:Path of Neo was practically shunned by the mass market and The Matrix Revolutions brought in less than half the box office sales as The Matrix Reloaded.

Fast forward to today and The Matrix series is dead, buried and decomposed. The Animatrix only confused hardcore fans of the series, bullet time is a fad thats been associated with the best aged Max Payne series and other than the occasional The Matrix reference in pop culture, The Matrix is a dead franchise.

Re:cash cow (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18004128)

But is Cars really that great of a game?

You, sir, have completely missed the point of the article.

TRUE gamers will NEVER die (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18000594)

True Gamers don't need friends or outside time. And they wear Depends when they camp the MOBs because they're so fuckighardcore.

Re:TRUE gamers will NEVER die (1)

DoomHaven (70347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001168)

That's nothing. Lisa Nowak was so hardcore she was wearing diapers while she was camping a *real* *person* she was going to kill.

You've got *nothing* on her.

I for one welcome our easily distracted gamers (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000626)

AKA casual gamers and thank our new overlords ... oh, a shiny penny! my, back when I was a kid, a penny could buy you two pieces of gum or if you had two you could get some candy, and just five and you had a whole bottle of coke ...

Um, yeah, casual gamers - it's a lot like being in a candy store. Unlike those hard core gamers who need to buy lots of Depends and energy drinks.

But, on the bright side, lots of pretty women and girls in the casual gaming camp, and ... well, you know, there are more important things than gaming, if you get my drift ...

VD Day!

Silly Example (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18000672)

The only reason Gears of War of war sold was it was the only game for the 360, ignoring Viva Pinata of course. Just like Halo and Halo 2. Using Gears of War as any type of data point for industry trends is absurd. There is one and only one thing to be learned from Gears of War: (*) the niche Xbox demographic will buy whatever is the latest 'guy in shiny metal armor running around shooting things' game Microsoft releases - no matter how crappy the game is.

And the same demographic will buy Halo 3 later this year no matter how crappy it is. And the rest of the gaming world won't care. And there will be absolutely nothing to be learned from any of it. Except for *.

Vista will discourage some hardcore gamers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18000704)

The stories we are hearing about Vista not playing nice with people's expensive video cards, along with the possibility that Vista will do annoying things when you're trying to play, mean that some people will play with what they have now but not purchase anything new.

One scenario that I imagine is that Vista recognizes that a sound file isn't properly protected and shuts down all the expensive features you paid for on your video card.

Hello, my name is Brad and I was a hardcore gamer (5, Interesting)

kiyoshilionz (977589) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000718)

Yes, I used to spend countless hours tweaking and overclocking my computer in order to get those extra FPS in CS Source and HL2. Now i just really don't care - I'm still 18, the "peak" age that everybody wants to market to, but I just lack the time or desire to pour hours on end into video games. School, life, and girls are more important to me now, and this videogaming thing has been slipping away.

I used to play 4 hours of video games a day back when I was a "hardcore gamer", it's just not worth it anymore. Has anybody else feel their killer instinct slip away?

Re:Hello, my name is Brad and I was a hardcore gam (5, Interesting)

Eudial (590661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000834)

Yes, I used to spend countless hours tweaking and overclocking my computer in order to get those extra FPS in CS Source and HL2. Now i just really don't care - I'm still 18, the "peak" age that everybody wants to market to, but I just lack the time or desire to pour hours on end into video games. School, life, and girls are more important to me now, and this videogaming thing has been slipping away.

I used to play 4 hours of video games a day back when I was a "hardcore gamer", it's just not worth it anymore. Has anybody else feel their killer instinct slip away?

Can't say I disagree. I'm 20. However, for me the most deterring factor for me is the decline in PC game quality. There used to be great titles like Thief and Deus Ex. Then all of the sudden everything had to be lobotomized so that it could be played on consoles as well as PCs. Wroooong move. Atleast I don't find a lobotomized point-and-drool interface that a chimpanzee could use very appealing.

Re:Hello, my name is Brad and I was a hardcore gam (1, Interesting)

MotorMachineMercenar (124135) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002212)

This "decline in PC game quality" is nothing but a selection bias. There have been crappy games throughout gaming's short history, we have just forgotten about them. Therefore we only remember the Nethacks, Zoids, Wolfensteins and Starcrafts. And there are plenty of innovative games coming - such as Spore - or derivative games which look much more promising than the current fare - Huxley and Warhammer Online.

Re:Hello, my name is Brad and I was a hardcore gam (3, Funny)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 7 years ago | (#18006346)

There used to be great titles like Zork and X-Com. Then all the sudden everything had to be lobotomized so that people without imagination could play them. ;)

Welcome to getting older (and at 20 no less), where the past is always better than the present. If you don't watch yourself, you'll be telling kids "Get off my lawn" before you turn 30. ;)

Re:Hello, my name is Brad and I was a hardcore gam (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18006934)

Then all the sudden everything had to be lobotomized so that people without imagination could play them.
>Get Ye Flask
>You Cannot Get Ye Flask

Re:Hello, my name is Brad and I was a hardcore gam (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001040)

It'll come back.

I grew up on Atari, C64 and NES, then SNES. I'd play constantly. Then I hit "the age of chicks and parties".

I completely skipped the N64 and PSX years. Never got either system until a couple years ago, when I picked them up used for like 15 bucks.

After I finished university and settled down in a job, wife, etc, I'm back to playing games again. Dreamcast came out the year after I graduated, and I bought one.

I don't know if I'd use the word "hardcore", but I have time for games again.

Re:Hello, my name is Brad and I was a hardcore gam (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001748)

> I don't know if I'd use the word "hardcore", but I have time for games again.

Yeah, but don't expect to go back to 4 hours of gaming a day.

Re:Hello, my name is Brad and I was a hardcore gam (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#18003870)

Yes, same here. I used to play games a lot, but then back then I didn't have lots of studying, working, etc. These days, I barely have time even on weekends (1-2 hours if I do have time). :(

Re:Hello, my name is Brad and I was a hardcore gam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18006156)

4 hours a day is not hardcore at all, i'd call that casual gaming
now 12 or more hours a day that's hardcore

Duh, (2, Insightful)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000750)

Reduced costs from the Pixar end. I would think that even if Pixar didn't write the game, whatever properly licensed publisher couuld try to obtain the computer models straight from Pixar for use in the game. This means that one guy copies/pastes/scalee from Pixar into the game companies format. If a game company did its own IP from ground up, of course they'd have more work to do.

Actually, when I think of casual games I think of the games that my wife plays: JewelQuest, solitare, and mine sweeper. I wouldn't class a "Pixar Cars" game as a casual game. It may be a kid game, but it that still doesn't mean that it can't be difficult for the casual adult gamer. (Heck, I played one of my kids Sponge Bob's game to try to get them past a level to the next save stop and I was surprised that it was hard. It had limitless lives, but the task (racing course) was difficult for even me, which startled me.) I like that "hard-core" gamers will always be around. They will be those that instead of buying 5 games for family/friends during Christams or combined through out the year, will buy 5 games every few weeks. They will always have publishers that target them. They'll always rail against the mainstream for purchasing games like JewelQuest, Dr. Mario, or Tetris as being cheap to develop and raking in far more money than they should. I wonder how many "hard core" gamers have disappeared into WOW or similiar games.

It's not hardcore gamers on the decline... (1)

Red Samurai (893134) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000810)

It's casual gamers on the increase. With the expansion of the video games industry, this is to be expected.

Re:It's not hardcore gamers on the decline... (1)

jwink (895907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001032)

I agree - I think there's an increase in causal gamers. I wonder if the increase in casual gamers is due - at least partially - to the fact many of them are getting married and having kids. Having a family - at least for me - enforces casual gaming. I can't devote hours and days of my free time to gaming any longer because I now devote that time to my wife and kids. Many of my friends who were hard-core gamers have undergone the same conversion. On the upside, my wife has gone from non-gamer to casual gamer. I believe this is in part due to the greater availability of casual games (as someone else mentioned) like Jewel Quest, Zuma, etc. that she likes. I like to think I may one day return to more hard-core gaming, but possibly not until the kids move out and I retire. I like to think that gaming more would be the default option since I suck at golf...

Re:It's not hardcore gamers on the decline... (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001506)

OTOH, a good friend of mine, his wife, and the two oldest of four kids (well, four surviving out of six -- God rest the souls of the two they lost) are all pretty hardcore gamers. A boy, about 12, and a girl, about a year younger. The boy especially. He plays all manner of FPS, tactical, and strategy games. The littler ones probably will start soon enough.

My parents raised us playing lots of board games and especially card games when my sister and I were young. My wife's a big card player and plays lots of gambling-related, maze, puzzle, and action computer games. We'll raise our kids playing cards and computer games. I'm not sure at what age she'll let me introduce them to FPS, but if I start with milder ones like Blake Stone and Wolfenstein 3D, I imagine it'll be fairly young.

No.. (2, Insightful)

Nemetroid (883968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000818)

... I'm alive and healthy!
Compare this to the music market - even though it is tremendously bigger than the games', they are common in some senses.
Although most of the music being sold is mass produced crap, there still is good music to be found. I believe the same will be true for games.

Re:No.. (1)

BarneyL (578636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002816)

The problem with the music analogy is that whereas a song written on a cheap guitar in a couple of hours can become a number one hit, a game written on a cheap computer in the same time can't. These days to make a big hit in the gaming world takes millions on programmers, artists, musicians and so on. Sure you can make a flash game that might get popular online but no one is going to produce the next Gears of War, Zelda or Final Fantasy in their garage with a couple of friends.

Hardcore vs Softcore players (4, Interesting)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000974)

I'm sorry but the distinction between a hardcore and a softcore player is blurred. I'm sick of people saying that things a hardcore player likes that a softcore player doesn't like. If you make a quality game, people will play it. The problem lays in the fact that people don't make quality games and they lay their excuse here.

For example: The article says Gears of War sold as many units as Cars even though Gears of War cost more to make. They then go on to say it is because of hardcore vs softcore players. When in fact couldn't it be that Gears of War doesn't do anything new in gaming. Its just another FPS, and doesn't even have a ladder like Halo 2. If they actually did something with all the money they spent in production of Gears of War, it could be the next killer FPS. You only need 2 things for the next killer FPS: 1) Ranked Online Play 2) Balanced Weapons . You could even make a MMOFPS and it'd instantly be better than PlanetSide which lets you level to max in a day basically. But no they chose to do a very expensive FPS.

Hopefully gaming companies will get these terms Hardcore and Casual players out of their head, so they don't give up totally and not try anymore.

Re:Hardcore vs Softcore players (2, Informative)

gregtron (1009171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001420)

Two glaring mistakes in your post: 1) There is a huge difference between hardcore and softcore players: Time. I work 60 hours a week, I have friends, I have a dog to walk, and I have a girlfriend who needs to feel pretty. I /want/ to be hardcore, but I can't because I don't have Time (or T Points, as I like to call it). 2) GoW is a TPS, not FPS.

Re:Hardcore vs Softcore players (1)

tzhuge (1031302) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001434)

FYI Gears of War isn't played from first person perspective. I also vaguely recall someone from Epic saying it was a relatively cheap game to create.

FYI 1) There are Ranked Matches... which I'm pretty sure qualifies as Ranked Online Play.
        2) From what I've played the weapons are incredibly well-balanced. I find myself grabbing a weapon if I see one but never hunting specifically for a weapon or camping any weapon spawn.

So... I'm really not sure what you're trying to say anymore. There's something in there about Gears doing nothing new and how Ranked Online Play and Balanced Weapons are all you need? Apparently those are new and innovative qualities for FPS games?

Re:Hardcore vs Softcore players (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001684)

Thanks for correcting me. I thought Gears of War was a different game than it is. My main point still stands. I think classifying players as Hardcore or Casual is the 'in thing' in the last year or so and it sickens me. Sure you need to account for making a game where someone who spends 60hrs/week vs someone spending 5 hrs a week can play in peace like the other poster said. But calling one person Hardcore and another Casual are really generic terms that for one are vague and secondly encompass too many variables about the player to lead to anything conclusive on your game making.

Re:Hardcore vs Softcore players (1)

jlf278 (1022347) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001502)

Not having an attention span capable of handling a learning curve or even reading an instruction manual is what really defines a Softcore gamer. Reading reviews to make educated purchases and investing time where you are rewarded with deep, challenging game mechanics is a waste of time to Softcore gamers. Look at Deal or No Deal, it's the epitome of a softcore game. Any hardcore gamer would find Deal or No Deal shallow, repetitive and lacking any skill or challenge. However, that makes it so appealing to a Softcore gamer because there's no downtime getting stuck or frustrated with some sort of clever puzzling. It's 100% entertainment! Of course some good games can be enjoyed by both hardcore and softcore gamers, like Tetris, Wii Sports, and even many Mario games. Therefore you'll continue seeing more of these games - easy learning curve AND deep game mechanics. And course there will be, as always, an endless stream of licensed garbage with 3.5-6.0 scores on IGN.

Re:Hardcore vs Softcore players (4, Insightful)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001832)

Indeed, though I believe the term "Hardcore gamer" is a concern for consumers to bat around in their debates, not the companies. Since it's their livelihood, I'm sure they would be viewing the market with better detail that just hardcore/not-hardcore(softcore? o.O )

And Gears of War is quite casual. Very short, but fun singleplayer, and quick multiplayer games set on small compact maps with immediate action and fast map turnover. Very little time and effort needs to be invested to enjoy this game. Casual and Hardcore have veered off quite a bit in how they're used, now meaning non-violent vs. violent, which is a different concern.

Namely, violent vs. non-violent is a parental concern. Gamers don't care. Gamers don't care much for violence in videogames, they see points and progress towards a goal. Violence offers a few minutes of giggles when just starting out, but this is soon forgotten when the gamer goes on to actually play the game.

You didn't blow a human beings brains out all over the wall, you just scored a point. We're not grieving for virtual families, we're competing in a game. Playing the game brings the vast majority of the pleasure, not the virtual bloodshed.

The violence is just an easily understood setting for competitive play, because a post-apocalyptic game of lasertag or nerf is far far harder to suspend your imagination for than a war. Thus, the violent or non-violent aspect of casual vs. hardcore ought to be dropped in favor of depth and duration of play arguments.

Re:Hardcore vs Softcore players (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18004358)

Violence is very significant in perceptions of hardcoreness, though, which is why the PS3 and 360 people are so quick to dismiss the Wii as "kiddy games" and the like. Gears is marketed at people who want to prove they're into stuff that little kids couldn't handle.

Re:Hardcore vs Softcore players (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18005128)

This is why I make a distinction between "true gamers" and "hardcore gamers". People who actually spend a lot of time and money on games rarely give a rat's ass about violence, and only care about graphics if it enhances the feel or functionality of the game. I think of the "Hardcore gamer" as the 16 year old kid who likes to impress his friends by splatting blood against the walls in a feeble attempt to look macho and badass.

Most real long-time gamers, who spend hours honing their skills and cracking all the puzzles aren't the ones slamming the Wii for being "sissy", this is primarilly by the "hardcore" teenagers, who feel their masculinity is threatened by playing games that don't involve massive amounts of gushing gore.

More casual gamers = more casual games (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18000978)

Just like more moviegoers = more movies catering to the lowest common denominator.

More tv viewers = more drek reality TV. That's what the masses want.

Larger market for music = more Britney.

But, even so, there still are good movies made now and then, there is still enjoyable TV to watch, and some good music to listen to. Not everybody tries to target the largest possible audience, the business of it realizes that the little niche markets can be very lucrative.

This summary bases it's whole premise around Gears of War, and is the same fallacy the RIAA/MPAA use: they assume something should sell x jillion copies, then go pointing fingers at others when it doesn't. I'm sure the ESA will come out to tell you it's because of piracy, but frankly, I didn't think Gears of War was all that great. I found the gameplay was awkward, the plot generic. It just didn't float my boat.

Hardcore gamers don't buy based on hype alone. Sorry Cliffy B, you actually have to deliver more than shiny graphics and a paint by numbers shooter about "space marines fighting aliens".

Frankly, there was nothing hardcore about the game, IMO. I thought about buying it, ended up putting it on the shelf and getting Dead Rising instead.

Also, when you're charging 70 bucks a game after tax, don't expect me to buy the games in the same volume as I used to.

Percentage != Count (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001020)

Just as a note, the number of hard core gamers is hardly dwindling. It is just that they are making up a smaller percentage of the whole pie. BIG difference, though I've noticed many companies can not figure that out...

Although I have seen numbers drop in some areas where 'hard core' gamers feel that their needs are simply no longer being addressed due to the percentage drop, and thus they actually are exiting the buying pool.

Its marketing... (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001034)

Not just marketing for the game, but marketing for the whole franchise and how it spills over. A groundwork was already put in place by the original content and the game builds on it. 'Fresh' content isn't going to get this head start.

The license/movie tie-in or whatever has marketing on its side. Lots of people probably bought X-Men legends because they read it was a good game...but I bet just as many bought because they loved comics, or they loved the movies, or their friends loved the comics and told them about it. They went in a store and saw a game with 'X-Men' on the box, or in this example 'Cars' and said "Hey, I liked that...maybe the game is good". Some buy the game right then and there, others do some research on it and buy it later. The game stands on the shoulders of the movie.

This doesn't always, but can assure that even a terrible game based on a good movie sells well. It works for sequels to games and movies as well. Hell, look at the new star wars...everyone watched them even though they suck. Why? Because we loved the originals so much. Is it any surprise that the same power can spill across mediums?

makes sense (1)

10100111001 (931992) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001044)

Aren't the truly hard-core gamers the one's who get doped up and play for 160 hours straight until they drop dead from systems failure?

Don't underestimate Cars (3, Funny)

lukeduff (156720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001104)

My clan just started playing Cars in league play. It's pretty intense.

truely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18001150)

hardcore gamers don't reproduce.

Ha. (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001180)

I feel as though this article is being used to say, "In ten years, hardcore gamers will be a thing of the past." That's quite absurd. Certainly they may no longer have the majority on purchasing power, but games will most certainly still be made for them.

Hardcore gamers bring something to the table casuals will likely never be able to, dedication. So long as they are playing game X, they will tell everyone they know all about game X, how game X is the bee's knees and they're so 1337. This may annoy a fair number of casual gamers, but it spreads the name of the game by word of mouth rather well.

Talk to a casual gamer, and the most you'll get is, "Yeah, I play games" unless you really press them to go into further details.

That's not to say that all hardcore gamers are utterly loyal to their games, or that casuals don't ever talk about games. Rather, it is saying that of the two groups, hardcore gamers are far more likely to spread the word.

No doubt about it... (1)

illeism (953119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001190)

I'm over 30, and I can definitely feel the decline... eyes going, body getting heavier, reflexes not what they used to be ;)

Hardcore gamers need Hardcore games! (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001204)

Where is Starcraft III, dammit? Where is Call of Duty 3 for the PC?

Raise your hand if your aim is better with a controller than a mouse? Not me.

I paid more for my SLI Nvidia's than anyone paid for their damn X-Box, so where did all the killer games go?

If we can get a Starcraft III, it will out-sell any damn Halo interation.

Bring it, bitches!

Re:Hardcore gamers need Hardcore games! (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001580)

Wii-mote trumps mouse as a natural "gun" like pointing device. Hopefully Nintendo truly exploits this fact with some good FPS's. Far Cry for Wii is a decent teaser of whats to come.

Re:Hardcore gamers need Hardcore games! (2, Informative)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001890)

Honestly having played with the Wiimote, no, it's still inferior to the mouse. I have a feeling most will realize this when playing MP3. If you saw people playing around with the MP3 Demo kiosks earlier last year, you'll note that the system was hard to adapt to, and there wasn't really a good way to turn around fast that a mouse provides. Although the Wiimote gives us a cool new way to play FPS, I don't think it's the new #1 interface.

Re:Hardcore gamers need Hardcore games! (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002232)

IMO, it's because of the control system. Pointing to control movement in any way just seems unnatural to me.

The way it should be done is this: use the stick to walk forward and back, and strafe left and right. Hold Z button while moving stick left/right for turns (allow for high turn sensitivity so you can turn quickly). A to jump, B to shoot, point away from the screen to reload, C to change weapons, and of course, the gun is aimed with the remote.

I think that covers the main controls, though I'm no FPS guy, I just know what sounds natural to me. Secondary controls can use a point a click (with the C button, so you don't trigger one of them when you're trying to fire) interface.

A little different from the PC paradigm, but i really do think it's better to have the remote for aiming purposes only.

Re:Hardcore gamers need Hardcore games! (1)

Chimera512 (910750) | more than 7 years ago | (#18007098)

Seconded. I haven't had much time with the Wiimote as a pointing device and none with it in anything but the menu, I only played Wii Sports and Marvel Ultimate Alliance, but just in the menus, the pointing doesn't have the same accuracy that a mouse does. Maybe I just haven't had enough time with the system but it doesn't seem to be percise and seems laggy with a tendency to cause me to overcorrect movements.

Re:Hardcore gamers need Hardcore games! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18004436)

Having a pointing device like the wiimote, or a mock gun in an arcade game, adds a little bit of imersion to the game, but its still much easier to aim with the mouse.

Re:Hardcore gamers need Hardcore games! (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001712)

Starcraft III????

What the HELL!?!? Did I just wake up from a coma? Quick, some one tell me where I can buy Starcraft 2!

Define your terms (2, Insightful)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001356)

Well, here's my problem, what is a hardcore gamer?

I've heard the difference between hardcore gamer and softcore gamer described thusly, "Hardcore gamers buy a lot of video games during the life of a console, whereas non-hardcore gamers buy only a few popular titles."

I've also heard this, "Hardcore gamers are the ones who line up for consoles and pre-order games, wheras non-hardcore will wait until they are cheap and readily available."

But wait, I've also heard, "Hardcore gamers like traditional games (RTS, RPG, FPS, etc.) while non-hardcore like non-traditional (Brain Training, Nintendogs, Wii Sports)."

Well, which one is it? Is it all three? How does this impact Cars versus Gears?

Re:Define your terms (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002148)

This is the problem you always run into when you try to segment a group based on arbitrary criteria. To some people, hardcore means competitive gamers. To others, it may just mean someone who likes games that are more complex than Zuma. Defining games is a bit easier than defining the players though. You're still going to get some games that are cross overs like the Sims, or Animal Crossing, but for the most part it's pretty intuitive. Cars and Gears of War are aimed at totally different audiences. This should be pretty self evident. There's almost no cross-ever between the two demographics, meaning there aren't going to be many people out there who purchase both Cars and Gears of War.

Basically the gist of the article is that historically games have been mostly aimed at the group of people buying Gears of War (and people like them), but more and more games are being targeted towards the group of people buying Cars (and people like them).

Re:Define your terms (2, Informative)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002202)

Hard core gaming is mostly subjective. It just means that one is more willing than the average person to go the extra mile in any significant facet of gaming. Possible ways to attain hard core gamer status:

- camping out for new releases
- beating very hard or frustrating games
- having played games seriously for a very long time
- investing obscene amount of time in mmos
- winning competitions

To answer your questions specifically:

Quantities of games purchased doesn't matter unless they are good games and you play them all. Dropping a lot of money on games you won't play does not make you a hard core gamer. Genres that are written off as being easy or fluffy or aimed at kids will definitely detract from your hard core status.

Although I think 80% of the people out there would agree with most of what I've said, you have to realize that a "hard core" gamer is an entirely nebulous, subjective term. It's not scientific terminology, and there's no one arbiter of what it means. However, if you're trying to get the terms down, this is a good place to start.

Re:Define your terms (1)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#18004044)

Hardcore gamers tend to fit into much of what you posted. Playstation/Xbox fanboys are often what is thought of as the typical hardcore gamer, as well as people who spend far to much on PCs/video cards. They usually demand supreme graphics. Casual gamers are the people who tend not to spend much time at games, and/or are not rabidly attached to them.

Then that leaves people like me. I like to refer to myself as a "traditional gamer" - someone who loves games of all sorts. I'll play just about any sort of video game, but I also like many other sorts of games such as board games, darts, pool, and a fervent love of pinball. I doubt anyone will refer to you as a hardcore gamer no matter how much nethack you play.

yea right.. (1)

gfxone (1044444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001472)

All the hardcore gamers are just occupied right now playing WoW. They'll be back in force in the near future.

Re:yea right.. (1)

bitserf (756357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002552)

Once the hardcore gamers have cleared the Black Temple, ground to exalted with all factions, and are wearing full sets of the top-end gear - The Northrend expansion pack will be released :)

If by casual games you mean... (1)

DimGeo (694000) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001510)

... things like Raptor or FlatOut, I'm all for it.

Wrong in so many ways (5, Insightful)

matthewcharles2006 (960827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001628)

First of all, Gears sold THREE million by Jan. 19th [] . Second, Gears was an early, exclusive game on a new system with a user install base between 7-10 million, whereas Cars came out on every platform under the sun, probably including cell phones. Third, an increase in 'softcore' gamers does not mean a decline in 'hardcore' gamers. Considering the 360's install base, Gears is a phenomenal success.

I wonder ... (2, Interesting)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001700)

Has anyone plotted the number of hardcore gamers against the unemployment rate? It seems to me that I would expect to see a decrease in the number of hardcore gamers as a society moves towards full employment rates.

Castle Wolfenstein (1)

hound3000 (238628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001704)

Yea, I would say there is a generation gap between those of us who nearly crapped their pants when seeing Wolfenstein 3D at the state fair for the first time in 92, and those who saw Return to Castle Wolfenstein (RtCW) and merely yawned a decade later. There are different driving forces for kids growing up with computer games as a given, like television.

I haven't found a game since RtCW that I've truly went bonkers over, and most of RtCW was reliving my childhood. And speaking of reliving my childhood, can we get another Wing Commander?

Re:Castle Wolfenstein (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002628)

Yea, I would say there is a generation gap between those of us who nearly crapped their pants when seeing Wolfenstein 3D at the state fair for the first time in 92, and those who saw Return to Castle Wolfenstein (RtCW) and merely yawned a decade later.

What about those of us who did both?

Games have developed since Wolf 3D. Expectations of gamers have changed in more than a decade of development. It's not just kids growing up with a playstation, it's adults who are judging things by the standards of the day. RtCW was yawn-worthy imo, as opposed to genra-defining like Wolf 3D, and I see their attempt to cash in on my nostalgia for the original as a bad thing, not a positive.

Similarly, I would hate the idea of a new Wing Commander without evidence that it was actually a good, modern, innovative game like the original Wing Commander series, not a crass attempt at a cheap cash-in on a formerly strong name. But they already tried that with the movie, so I wouldn't hold my breath either way.

Casual Hardcore? (1)

UED++ (1043486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18001978)

There are those who play casual games in a "hardcore" manner. Surely they count as hardcore players?

Hardcore Gamers don't play every game (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002204)

When I was a "hardcore gamer" putting in probably 20 or more hours a week into gaming, I only played a handful of games. This was even before extensive multiplayer features. Now I imagine people just play 1 or 2 games for months or years. Does anyone really need the next multi million dollar game when they're still playing World of Warcraft or Counterstrike?

Kids, on the other hand, are fickle. They'll play Cars for a couple of days/weeks, and then when the next CG movie comes out, they're gonna hound their parents to get the game for it. Of course you're gonna have bigger sales to that market with crappier games.

Not a good comparison. (1)

Rakarra (112805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18002362)

Comparing Gears of War to Cars isn't really fair since Cars is not your typical softcore game. Instead, it's a product tie-in game. It didn't sell because it's a softcore game, it sold because it had a built-in fanbase from a very popular (especially with kids) movie with a lot of marketing muscle behind it. The casual or softcore nature had little to do with its sales; if it were more of a hardcore game with a billion options to customize McQueen or tons of optional/unlockable content it still would have sold well since the quality of the movie and Disney's ties with companies like Walmart guarenteed a certain number of copies would fly off the shelves. Sadly, game quality had little to do with the sales.

Decline of hard-core (1)

Udderdude (257795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18003578)

As people who could be identified as true "hard-core" gamers (the real ones, not the ones Microsoft tries to claim play Xbox all day) grow older, they eventually find they don't have as much time to play games. So they naturally play less, become less skilled, and lose interest. To really play at a hard-core level, you have to put in alot of time and practice into the games/genres you like. Without time/practice, it's really impossible to keep up that level of skill. I've went back and played games I used to rock at, and of course they kicked my ass, because I had not kept up practice and lost my edge.

Of course, new gamers may come forward to take their place. They are unfortunately not an easy market to target, and in addition, more and more casuals are entering the market. They are where the money is, so it's likely truly hard-core games will become a thing of the past, or only be made by fans who want to challenge themselves and eachother.

Re:Decline of hard-core (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18004268)

As people who could be identified as true "hard-core" gamers (the real ones, not the ones Microsoft tries to claim play Xbox all day) grow older, they eventually find they don't have as much time to play games.

"When I was your age, a hardcore gamer wouldn't be caught dead on one of your consoles. We spent thousands of dollars and dozens of hours to squeeze out every frame we could and thats the we we liked it!"?

Re:Decline of hard-core (1)

Udderdude (257795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18005082)

It's not about spending money at all. The sure-fire way you know you've got a wannabe is someone who brags about his PC more than his accomplishments.

Nothing New (2, Informative)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18003798)

Look at the top 10 sales charts. Things haven't changed, casual games make up most of the list. Typically you'll have a hot casual game/genre like Deer Hunter (*sigh*), pokemon (on the console side) or the Sims dominate, while a few great hardcore games round out the list.

1998 Top 10 PC Games
(6 "casual", 3 "Hardcore", 1 not sure (I'm thinking Titanic was supposed to be a Myst clone but never tried it)
1. Starcraft (Blizzard)
2. Deer Hunter (WizardWorks)
3. Deer Hunter 2 (WizardWorks)
4. Myst (Broderbund)
5. Cabela's Big Game Hunter (Head Games)
6. Titanic: Adventure Out of Time (Knowledge Adventure)
7. Lego Island (Mindscape)
8. Frogger (Hasbro)
9. Riven (Red Orb)
10. Unreal (GT Interactive)

Top 10 Games 2002
(7 "casual", 3 "hardcore")
1 / The Sims: Unleashed / Electronic Arts / $26
2 / Age of Mythology / Microsoft / $40
3 / Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / Electronic Arts / $28
4 / The Sims Deluxe / Electronic Arts / $42
5 / RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 / Infogrames / $29
6 / Backyard Hockey / Infogrames / $19
7 / Zoo Tycoon: Marine Mania / Microsoft / $31
8 / Zoo Tycoon / Microsoft / $28
9 / The Sims: Vacation / Electronic Arts / $29
10 / EverQuest: The Planes of Power / Sony Online / $29

Top 10 PC 2007
(5 "Casual", 4 "hardcore", 1 both (WoW has both kinds of players)
1. World of Warcraft--Vivendi Games
2. The Sims 2--Electronic Arts
3. The Sims 2: Open For Business Expansion Pack--Electronic Arts
4. Star Wars: Empire At War--LucasArts
5. The Sims 2: Pets Expansion Pack--Electronic Arts
6. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion--Take-Two Interactive
7. Age of Empires III--Microsoft
8. The Sims 2: Family Fun Stuff Expansion Pack--Electronic Arts
9. Civilization IV--Take-Two Interactive
10. The Sims 2: Nightlife Expansion Pack--Electronic Arts

Re:Nothing New (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18007034)

Top 10 PC 2007
(5 "Casual", 4 "hardcore", 1 both (WoW has both kinds of players)
1. World of Warcraft--Vivendi Games
2. The Sims 2--Electronic Arts
3. The Sims 2: Open For Business Expansion Pack--Electronic Arts

Slight problem with your list - you mix standalone games with expansion packs. While not a problem in itself, it allows a game as popular as The Sims to choke out a top ten list by releasing tons of expansions.

As a result, it could be read that the "top 5" has plenty of hardcore games, or by some other reading that has an entirely different interpretation.

comparing costs (1)

angrymilkman (957626) | more than 7 years ago | (#18003856)

In this article Mark Rein puts the development costs of Gears of War at less than 10M. 20176 [] I doubt whether Cars has been made for that amount of money, especially since they could possibly reuse animations & models from the movie. I guess you should include those costs too right?

Dumb notion (1)

NotZed (19455) | more than 7 years ago | (#18004012)

By definition 'hardcore gamers' are not the 'main-stream', they can't and wont ever 'dominate the industry'.

Just because the pc-game era has been dominated by 'hardcore' games (well at least among the 'hardcore gamers'), doesn't mean the industry has. It is just full of buzzwords, that don't really mean anything. Good games have always sold and there's always been a diverse range of games on a fairly wide number of platforms.

Maybe people are just sick of 'yet another kill everyone army trainer' - I know I could never really get into fps games although I tried.

Not that any data from the story really supports that notion anyway - xbox owners traditionally fit into the juveline blood thirsty teenage boy category who wear 'hardcore' as a badge of honour, so GOW was always going to sell on such a relatively small platform, and Cars had MUCH wider brand recognition, appeal and installed base to target.

This is like saying... (0, Offtopic)

Gunslinger47 (654093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18004752)

This is like saying that the future of the cocaine industry is in baking soda.

Reformed Hard Core Gamer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18005180)

I reverted to a Casual Gamer once I went from being self-employed (read: unemployed) to getting a real job. It's amazing how much time a real job take away from gaming time.

Dumb Conclusion (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18005780)

Hardcore players are not declining. There are more hardcore gamers now than any time in history. There is just a large market for casual games and that market may be (is) larger than the market for hardcore gamers. This is kind of a "duh" moment. Hardcore, by definition, is represented by those people who take things to an extreme. If everyone was hardcore, then that would be "normal" and wouldn't be called hardcore. So they are saying games that appeal to "normal" people (i.e. the majority) sell better than games that sell to a niche. Brilliant! Sometimes I seriously wonder how people get paid to figure out the obvious.

Hardcore gamers' numbers up, importance down. (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18006046)

There will be more, not fewer, hardcore gamers in the future, but only in absolute terms because the population is rising. As a percentage of the overall number of gamers, they are already a dwindling minority and increasingly irrelevant. In five years' time, fifty zillion Indian and Chinese gamers will be playing games on their mobile phones. They are the market of the future. Hardcore gamers will become a niche just as audiophiles are a niche, or people who own full-bore home theater systems are a niche. Individually, they spend a lot, but there aren't enough of them to justify making a large number of products for them.

I believe it (1)

okinawa_hdr (1062664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18006532)

I used to play MMORPGs as what I would classify as "obsessive", but then you start to realize that there's more to life and farming for plat.
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