This is my third or forth Casual Connect out in Seattle. Casual Connect happens three times a year, twice in Europe and just once in the US. Casual Connect is the premier conference for the casual games industry….
Casual Connect is in trouble.
– It is focused mainly on the download game makers and publishers. While the casual game industry has expanded the conference has not. The same players still have the biggest presence. It is distinctly local. The big casual game developers are in Seattle so that’s where it’s held.
– It is exclusive instead of inclusive. Again, they need to go for the big tent rather than the small tent. There was not much presense from the flash developer market nor did we hear from the male casual game demograhic. There was no indie game summit or anything similar to Mochi sponsored flash game summit prior to GDC. Also where was Nintendo, Kinect or Playstation Move?
– The focus is primarily on business. There were no consumer announcments – not a new game launch, or branded site or anything of interest that a consumer would be interested in. To grow as an industry, the hype and PR machine needs to be amped up.
If Casual Connect is to become a major conference it needs to address the issues above For me, the casual game industry has taken a step back. If it cannot represent itself with a bigger, more newsworthy and inclusive event, it might as well relegate itself to a one day seminar before a bigger conference.