Four lessons learned from Casual Connect 2010

casual connect the dude
casual connect the dude

Casual Connect 2010

in Seattle came and went last week with a whisper. The annual show held by the Casual Game Association had high attendance this year (2,000 people total), but it failed to generate major buzz. No big consumer news came from the event, and a big portion of the casual gaming world – Flash games – were nowhere to be found.

Some might argue that's because social gaming is so hot – there was no point in showing up unless you had something to say about the matter. Whether or not that's the case, it suddenly seems clear why casual games don't get the respect they deserve – it's all too fragmented to present a united front.

Despite the lack of mind-blowing moments at Casual Connect this year, there were a few common threads running throughout the three days of talks, all of which will likely impact your casual game playing experience for the rest of the year.

Everyone's obsessed with going social

About 80% of the conference was focused on social games, with discussions about how to keep your social game alive or how to turn an existing game franchise into something that's Facebook ready. PopCap made the jump with iterations of its popular PC games – first, with Bejeweled Blitz then Zuma Blitz (available in a few weeks). Big Fish Games made the jump with My Tribe and Treasure Quest; Playrix is doing the same with Fishdom. If you're favorite casual games haven't made the jump to Facebook yet, it will most likely happen sooner than later.