Casual Games Cost 12K To Develop?

20 06 2008

Speaking at the GameHorizon conference, Geoff Iddison, CEO of Jagex, claimed that it only takes around £12,800 to develop a casual game.

“We launched FunOrb with a low budget, adding games every two weeks. The cost per game is less that $25,000. That’s bearing in mind that we’ve got [development] infrastructure already in place and that it depends on [whether it’s a] single or multiplayer game.”

Perfectly true, but as the commenters point out, they’re making flash games and the work is outsourced to China. Development costs in the UK would be significantly higher, and clearly there’s going to be a larger gamut of budgets running between that and more traditional game development.

What I find more interesting though is the undercurrent to the comments of “Those aren’t proper games!”. Plainly what was once regarded as “the games industry” is becoming the blockbuster part of it, with plenty of other businesses rushing into the lower budget spaces underneath.

Casual is certainly a viable proposition now. To illustrate, here are a few more stories just from the past few days on

Portals will now get developers to sign exclusivity deals. MumboJumbo in particular are seeking to differentiate themselves from other casual game publishers/developers by positioning their games as “premium casual games”.

Majesco’s performance is getting better, and all on the back of non-hardcore game content seen as being aimed at more casual players.

Big media are continuing to rush towards game development with handfuls of cash. Nickleodeon in particular seem to be trying to cover the entire gamut of game development, with everything from two casual portals to console titles.

Pictured above is Peggle, the most perfect casual game yet. A lot of game designers have massive problems with the way it offers disproportionate rewards for what is largely a game of chance, but it sucks in hardcore gamers like nothing else, and with content that’s decidedly not aimed at them. Truly, finger ingested crack.

Escape Studios add recruitment to their services

27 03 2007

London-based training studio Escape has widened its recruitment services to all those looking for work in the games and visual arts fields. Until today, Escape’s recruitment service was open to those that studied at the company’s arts facility in London’s West End.

The BBC, Sumo Digital, the Mill and MPC (The Moving Picture Company) have already signed up to use the company for its recruitment of art-focused staff.

Paul Wilkes, Escape’s recruitment manager, commented: “We are thrilled to finally extend our service to those who may not have been through Escape’s doors. It reflects our commitment to providing a high standard to our clients and we look forward to welcoming new recruits to the Escape Studios community.”

Teeside students’ Twisted team

1 02 2007

A team of students from Teeside have teamed up for a graduate business within the Tees Valley’s DigitalCity project called Twisted Studio – and the gang is already talking about of licensing out its games development toolkit.
The studio has been formed by three graduates from Teeside University’s computer games programming and design course and plans to specialise in three areas.

The first is the sale and distribution of its rapid application development toolkit, called LOGIC; second is producing original games using the tool; and third is to offer the team’s services to other studios.

Twisted’s Production Director, Graham Bryan commented: ‘Our development team has a range of revolutionary games and applications conceived, devised and prepared, and in the process of completion.

‘We are also working on fully licensing our LOGIC toolkit to empower developers to produce high quality software with noticeably lower overheads. It’s an incredibly exciting time and the entire team is looking to the future with great confidence.’ “