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Casual Games a Not so Casual Business

Boot Camp feature for Friday, September 22, 2006

Casual games become a not so casual business. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Real Networks is best known for bringing audio and video technology and content to the Internet….but it got into games five or six years ago….and says Senior VP Michael Schutzler…

"The casual games industry is a multi billion dollar global industry now. For Real Networks it is now representing a little over 25 percent of our annual revenues."

Casual games are typically puzzle or card games that you can play at your PC or on a cell phone…for a few minutes at a time. You can get an idea about the variety at RealArcade.com. The company is porting some titles over to the Nintendo DS and Sony's PlayStation Portable and also supplies games to AOL, Yahoo, MSN and others…

"We're the biggest publisher of casual games in this industry."

Who is playing? The company's lifestyle expert Jennifer Louden …

"Their largest customer who actually buys the games…not downloads the games… but buys them… are women over forty. And almost 70 percent of the people buying games, are women over forty"

And if you're wondering why, Louden says…

The answer is that women are using games in this incredibly self prescribed way for stress."

To relieve stress at home and/or at work. Real isn't alone. A variety of video game publishers have turned to making casual games….that are less expensive to make than graphics rich console titles…. to increase their sales. And cell phones are becoming the platform of choice. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.