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Casual games to weather economy "relatively fine"

Softkinetic CEO confident that consumers will stay faithful to "short and sweet experiences"

Softkinetic CEO Michel Tombroff has told GamesIndustry.biz that he believes the social and casual gaming boom that the industry has seen in the past 18 months won't be reversed by the onset of global recession - and that it will actually prompt more people to spend time playing videogames.

Tombroff, whose company is working with gesture-based technology for a range of applications - including videogames - believes that the market which Nintendo has successfully encouraged will be more inclined to shed other costs, such as holidays and eating out, first.

"I don't think any industry is immune from the crisis, but I think the fact that you can have fun for a relatively low price, on something you can repeat the experience with - with your family quite often - suggests that this industry won't be too affected," he explained.

"I think on the contrary, some people will decide to defer more important expenses, such as travel and expensive restaurants, and decide to spend more time in the living room with the family.

"It's impossible to predict, but I feel personally that the industry will come through the crisis relatively fine. People like to have fun with short and sweet experiences."

Tombroff also revealed that Softkinetic has been working with EA Sports on interactive advergames using a 3D camera and gesture-based technology - which removes the need for a Wiimote or similar device altogether - for public installations.

"There is something a bit different about casual games, because in general publishers will tend to publish a set of games, not just one - because they're games you don't necessarily just play for a long time," he said.

"You play tennis maybe for ten minutes, then you want to play a bit of football, maybe then fighting, or dancing. So it's not just one game, it's going to be a portfolio of games in my opinion."

The full interview with Michel Tombroff is available now.

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