A Taste of Casual Connect – Seattle 2011


In the beginning of the day, Things were a little overwhelming. Attendance was definitely up at Casual Connect this year.
But, while pushing through the clusters of people, an overwhelming sense of familiarity took over. It kind of felt like coming home. Though this year, I took a little different strategy to my single day of attendance. I wanted to listen to some panels and see where things sat in the industry instead of trying to meet with a bunch of people singularly. I think this worked out well, and I am anxious to share what I heard, including some of the psychology behind game development, the subtle ways they keep free social games free, and the quality and quantity of social behavior in so called social games.

I did meet with a couple of people singularly and am happy with what I learned. Whereas in previous years, it seemed like there was a big separation and traditional casual games were starting to have to compete with flash games, social games, and mobile games. Now it looks like they are starting to become a cohesive unit and work together interchangeably across multiple platforms. I also saw some exciting new developments in new ways to play with new technologies that work with smart TV’s.

I will say that it did seem like there was a lot of focus placed on monetization and different ways to take payments, etc. There were more and more booths and companies dedicated to this side of the business, which has some importance in a conference of this type, geared toward more industry professionals and prospective industry professionals. But from a consumer perspective, it’s not something I want to see such a big presence from.

All in all, there were some good things going on, good energy, interesting people, organization, cooperation, and innovation happening this year at Casual Connect. Stay tuned for more details and specifics. I can’t wait to hear some feedback as to what some of the panelists said and the direction of the industry as a whole.