So wait, only teens want a challenge and have the time needed to put more than a Farmville-level of effort into a game? Wha?
The average person does not get more time to game as they get older. As husbands and wives, careers, kids, bills, and mortgages enter the picture, gaming time tends to slide until it either disappears or the classification on your gamer card changes entirely. MMOs are becoming more casual because, you guessed it, we’re becoming more casual.
Sure, I don’t have as much free time as I did back in HS, and certainly not college, but I’m not down to 30 minutes a week here. And the group I play with, all around my age, aren’t either. I’m also pretty sure people who have hobbies like golf, tennis, poker, etc, also don’t reduce those hobbies to next-to-nothing because life happened. Sure, some people just DON’T have the time, I get it. And I feel bad for you. Not having enough time to dedicate to a hobby you care about must suck. Especially if that’s just the hand you were dealt and you can’t do anything about it (which if people were honest with themselves, is not many). But I’d be willing to bet that group is the vast minority, and for every doctor/lawyer working 24/7, you have two or ten people with nice and easy 35 hour a week jobs that can easily drop 40 hours+ on a hobby if they really wanted to.
On top of that, one would think that as you get older, you get a little smarter, and so things that challenged you as a teen are pretty easy for you now (non-twitch of course), yet somehow in addition to a reduction in time, we also need a reduction in thinking? That we can’t handle social situations? That we can’t grasp the concept of not everyone being the hero? At what point did getting older turn into becoming an oversensitive baby who needs a trophy just for showing up? That sounds a lot more like becoming a child than growing up.
And ultimately that’s where the disconnect lies. It’s not that games like WoW are trying to adapt to a maturing fanbase; it’s that Blizzard is trying to morph their game to appeal to the twit generation, where anything above 140 characters is TL/DR, and if the content is not available RIGHT NOW and is not over in 3 minutes, it’s ‘a grind’. And sadly the twit-generation is not just young kids, but ADD (clinical or not) riddled ‘adults’ that have become so entitles, so expectant, that anything beyond instant gratification is not good enough.
Like I said before, if that’s who you are targeting, good luck, and may the Farmville be with you. But that’s not the only market out there, and the idiot-clicker genre is becoming awfully crowded.
Note: Not saying Chris reflects the above (but maybe you do?), his post just got me thinking. It’s not Friday anyway.