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With the emergence of highly accessible electronic games developed for Facebook and smartphones, there has been a clear democratization of electronic gaming that has led to many people discovering video games for the first time. It has also caused some to suggest that console game companies such as PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox could struggle to survive against the games targeting casual gamers from companies like Zynga and Glu. However, what these casual gamers are really showing is that the expansion of this technology is opening up new gameplay opportunities to the advantage of developers. Technology is progressing in many ways, helping developers improve the game experience. For example, technology is making games part of everyday life. Rendering technology is also becoming increasingly available and powerful. This combination creates game experiences that are more diverse, and many games are now blurring the line between casual and hardcore games.
The rise of smartphones, tablets, and a diversity of casual and hardcore gaming platforms now means that there are a variety of places where an interested gamer can consume a game brand. It is increasingly likely that a player will have multiple of these devices and will use them all for gameplay. What are the ramifications that this new reality has on the development of a successful game brand? If you assume that a player is going to want to play the game on different platforms, how can you leverage the game properly for each market and technology? How should the different implementations relate? Where is a simple port needed, and where you need a completely new design? This panel explores the current experimentation and the future possibilities inherent with cross-platform game release.
9th–13th March 2012