Casual no threat to core, claims analyst

It’s common knowledge that casual and social games markets continue to increase with importance – but that doesn’t mean the core games sector is under threat, one analyst has claimed.

We reject the notion that competition from non-traditional video gaming formats such as the iPhone and social gaming have significantly impacted the traditional console cycle,” Cowen Group analyst Doug Creutz stated.

We believe that these newer gaming media represent a distinct and non-competitive market segment from console gaming, which is dominated by the core gamer.”

Some had pegged the rise of casual gaming – and the increased market fragmentation that results – as one of the factors behind the year-on-year falls suffered in the games market last year.

Creutz, however, believes that the core market remains strong, and if anything it was the reduction in the number of mass-market games hitting consoles that ws to blame for any revenue dips.

While the Wii and the music genre helped grow the market beyond the traditional core gamer during 2007-08, casual gamers appear to have backed away from video games during 2009,” he adds.

Sales of core gamer titles remained strong during 2009 despite economic weakness. With Xbox 360 and especially PS3 prices now entering the mass market range, we believe that the cycle will reaccelerate to the benefit of the publishers that are positioned to take advantage.”

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