Market research firm Newzoo has proclaimed that the iPad will accelerate the growth of “mid-core gaming”. That sounds great…but what the hell is mid-core gaming?!? Initially, I was thinking that it was gaming on Middle-earth and was overcome with the urge to find the person that coined the phrase in order to smite them with the Torch of Gondor. Then I read Newzoo’s research and press release to find out more about this category that the iPad will accelerate.
According to Newzoo:
Tablets and smartphones are often seen as ‘casual’ game platforms, focusing on the success of games like Angry Birds, Smurfs Village, a variety of Poker games and, most recently, Draw Something. The major opportunity on smartphones and tablets is now for ‘core’ games to be offered as full games or game extensions, as the majority of ‘core’ console and PC gamers also plays games on mobile devices: 62% in the US and 67% in Europe. Up until now most ‘core’ mobile games have been offered as paid games, making limited use of the potential. Companies who can combine the ‘core’ genres on mobile with the games-as-a-service business model will maximize this potential. Lords & Knights of Xyrality is proving this in Europe, taking the number one grossing spot in Germany above the usual suspects, Zynga Poker and Grand Theft Auto 3.
Additionally, Newzoo’s Mobile Games Trend Report says that mid-core games combine “an immersive experience and casual gameplay”. Also, “These games are expected to particularly appeal to the older male demographic between 30 and 50 whose time has become scarce.”
Personally, I hate this label. To be fair, I hate the labels “casual gamer” and “hardcore gamer” too. Yes, I understand that there are different types of people that play different types of games. However, most of my friends are simply gamers. They play Angry Birds and Skyrim. Sometimes they play games for dozens of hours a week and sometimes they can only spare a few minutes a day. Habits, tastes, and the amount of leisure time available change. I’m sure there are times when you’re a casual gamer and others when you’re a hardcore gamer. It just seems completely unnecessary to put a label on it, let alone create the category of mid-core gamer.
Don’t get me wrong. I respect Newzoo’s research, but the whole mid-core gaming thing seems like a gimmick or laziness. I agree with the company’s sentiment that the iPad will accelerate the growth of mobile gaming, but I wouldn’t pigeonhole it by assigning the growth to a made-up category.
Then again, that’s just me. What do you think of the term mid-core gaming? Do you consider yourself a mid-core gamer? Is the iPad the perfect device for mid-core gaming (as defined by Newzoo)?
(Thanks to Devin Connors for the image!)