Attending to Casual and Hardcore Players

Whenever me, my fellow managers and even staff at Level Up Philippines discuss our current games portfolio, one of the issues that crop up is how to classify the games. A lot of talk and debate boils down to putting the dichotomy within 2 - casual and serious (hardcore).

When you look at it from the first “layer”, it seems innocuous. Casual are simple, “pick me up” games and are usually free. Serious games are games such as PW or RF. Again, that’s the “first layer”. Once we delve deeper into the analysis, the play of words become more tricky.

Now comes the hard part. So, we are agreed that RF Online is a serious game, right. Now, do you give a “blanket definition” and classify all players as “serious” MMO-types? But no… like I told you, it gets complicated. Now that RF is free, there is another layer of classification. Within the playing community, there are “casual” and “serious” players playing in a supposed “serious” game. The ‘oxymoronic’ nature is enough to make me want to pull my hair.

More on the dilemma after the jump.

Let’s get back to unraveling this “mystery”…

Alright, I guess the key is classifying the games as to their nature and not as to their communities right? One of my co-workers pointed out that we still have to have programs devoted to making both “types” of communities happy. Agree. But first, I asked the question: “How to you define who’s casual and who’s serious?”.

One said “It’s about time” and another said “It’s all about how much they spend”. Here, we order more coffee. The meeting is sure to last at least another hour.

Is it fair to brand someone as casual just because he or she plays only a few hours a day? Also, how about someone who spends thousands of pesos on say, Freestyle. Is that player automatically a serious player? Even though he just plays the same as a casual player – “a few hours a day”.

If you ask me, there really is no right measurement to classify or brand an individual. Players and gamers can’t be “boxed in”. “Casual” and “Serious” are ‘states of mind’. But if ever there’s a metric to classify who’s who, it’s gotta be TIME. Although it’s not an exact measurement, time, coupled with the individual’s real desire or “concept” will determine what group he or she belongs to.

I think everyone starts out as a casual player. It is peer and community pressure that converts one to start traveling upon the wicked road of being a ‘serious gamer’.

So, in the end, we decide that we just classify the game GENRE. After all, if a game is casual, I think it’s a good way to convert them to become serious MMORPG players.

That made my head spin. Hope you can help.

Any thoughts? I would be more than happy if you can free me from this conundrum.

GM T

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Author: Mon Macutay

Mon Macutay is a geek, gamer and technie at heart. He is also the CEO and founder of startup Big Ideas Social Media Inc., a Digital Marketing and Social Media Services company based in Makati, Philippines.

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