PopCap: big publishers won't adapt to social games
CCO Jason Kapalka: "FarmVille is more of a WoW-killer than The Old Republic"
PopCap Games Chief Creative Officer Jason Kapalka has claimed that current publishers are not ready forwith the new age of mobile and social gaming.
Observing that "FarmVille is probably more of a WoW-killer than the Old Republic," the co-founder of the Bejewelled developer felt that many gamers no longer had the time on their hands necessary for traditional games.
"I think increasingly a lot of people are in that position, and games have to evolve to meet that need," he told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview published today.
"Whether it's a game like FarmVille or Bejewelled Blitz, or a lot of mobile games that have the same idea of 'I have it wherever I go, I can play short games on it.' The game adapting to your schedule, rather than you trying to conform to the game's demands.
"Those are the kinds of the kinds of games that are probably going to be the big scary ones as far as the current guys like Blizzard, Activision, and EA are concerned. They're going to be fighting them on unequal terms, like asymmetric warfare.
"So FarmVille versus WoW doesn't seem like a fair match, but they're not fighting on the same ground, they're fighting in very different ways. To date, a lot of the bigger companies haven't shown that they really understand that, or are capable of adapting to it."
He particularly felt that that subscription-based online games were doomed. "I think the vibe I'm getting certainly is that people are really deciding that MMOs are a bad place to do business.
"There's gonna be one or two last gasps – probably [Star Wars] The Old Republic will be, well... I know it's a big, expensive project, and if that under-performs, that'll probably be the last time someone decides to spend $100 million on a WoW-killer."
The full interview, in which the CCO also discusses plans for (and problems with) gaming on Android, the standards war between Apple, Google and Microsoft and the risks of large companies acquiring small studios, may be found here.