Shunning the usual star-studded premieres, pop performances and paparazzi, worldwide leader in casual games, PopCap Games, today staged the world’s first living room videogame launch for the highly anticipated, Bejeweled 3.An antidote to the blockbuster gaming world fanfare, Mums, grans and women of all ages chatted over tea and cakes as the results of an all-new survey revealed the ‘average casual gamer’ is a 45-year-old mum called Sue.
The official Bejeweled 3 launch event saw no glitz beyond that of the iconic in-game gems. Invited guests were treated to a cosy, chilled out tea party, held in a real London living room.
Instead of A to Z-list celebrities, the world’s most casual game launch hosted a cross section of the UK’s most prolific casual video gamers: a Women’s Institute secretary; a granny; a Welsh librarian; a glamorous banker and a trendy dad. Less Victoria Beckham and more Victoria Sponge, excited guests got their game on as they got to grips with the guest of honour – PopCap’s Bejeweled 3. With twice the game modes of its predecessor as well as eight mini-games and a complete revision of sound and graphics, Bejeweled 3 is a quantum leap forward in the match-3 category pioneered by the original Bejeweled.
Keeping with the relaxed theme, Neil Shah from the Stress Management Society was on hand to try out the game’s new stress-busting Zen mode and to offer his advice on staying relaxed even at this typically stressful time of year.
Alison Tomkins, 51, a Welsh librarian who attended the launch says: “I love an evening in on the sofa playing Bejeweled on my laptop. My husband Jeff and I have a giggle playing together and we’ve even converted our 28-year-old son to playing games with us as a family.”
The ‘laid back’ launch of Bejeweled 3 follows news revealing the true identity of the average gamer. All-new Vox PopCap research of 2,000 casual gamers released today paints a very different picture from the stereotype of a teenage boy playing games in his bedroom. The average gamer is a 43-year-old married mum called Sue with two grown up children who counts watching Midsomer Murders and playing on her own games console as among her favourite pastimes.
Despite a classical taste in fiction – such as Jane Austin novels – and a love of traditional social activities such as book clubs, bingo and slimming clubs, Sue is bang up to date with technology, owning her own digital camera, MP3 player and laptop.
PopCap spokesperson, Cathy Orr, says: “Videogaming has become as mainstream a lifestyle entertainment as watching TV or reading a book so we couldn’t think of a better place to launch Bejeweled 3 than a living room. Bejeweled is a phenomenon appealing to the widest possible audience of everyone - men and women, aged 6 to 106, from kids to glamorous businessmen and women to grandparents. The aim of today’s launch was to underscore the diversity of the game’s fanbase, demonstrate how people play – and allow some of the UK’s biggest Bejeweled fans get to grips with the new game!”
The success of Bejeweled across such a wide fan base and be attributed in part to the calming aspects of the game. Scientific research has proven that playing Bejeweled 2 actively reduces stress by an average of 47 per cent. And Bejeweled 3 includes a Zen mode, a relaxing endless mode loaded with options for meditation and stress relief, including breath modulation, ambient sounds, binaural beats and mantras for focusing your thoughts. All Zen mode options can be combined and adjusted in virtually infinite ways to create each player's own custom "mental vacation."
Neil Shah, Stress Management Society spokesperson, road tested Bejeweled 3’s Zen mode. He says: “The run up to Christmas can be really stressful for people of all ages and backgrounds and playing casual games is actually a brilliant way to reduce anxiety levels and relax. Bejeweled 3’s new Zen mode is a great idea for helping players chill out even more and put all their worries to one side.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Research was carried out across 2,000 casual gamers by 72 Point.
PopCap Games is the leading global developer, publisher and operator of casual video games: fun, easy-to-learn, captivating games that appeal to all ages across PC, mobile, social and other platforms.
Based in Seattle, Washington, PopCap was founded in 2000 and has a worldwide staff of more than 350 people in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver, B.C., Dublin, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo.
Its games have been downloaded over 1.5 billion times by consumers worldwide, and its flagship title, Bejeweled®, has sold more than 50 million units.
One of the top 10 best-selling video game franchises of all time, Bejeweled was named in the 2010 Guinness World Records as Most Popular Puzzle Game Series of the Century.
The PopCap logo and all other trademarks used herein that are listed at www.popcap.com/trademarks are owned by PopCap Games, Inc. or its licensors and may be registered in some countries. Other company and product names used herein may be trademarks of their respective owners and are used for the benefit of those owners.
About The Stress Management Society
The Stress Management Society is a leading authority on stress recognition and management. As a not-for-profit company established in 2003 by a team of health care and professional consultants, they are one of the most renowned resources of information, advice, support and guidance for stress, wellbeing and mental health issues.
They pride themselves on educating people on the latest knowledge, ideas, services and products that help to combat stress. They provide a valuable, user-friendly support network to offer stress management and well-being advice, news and documents.
They extensively research the cause and issues that surround Stress as well as potential strategies to address it.
All of which are provided in an accessible and understandable format so that organisations and individuals can practically utilise this support. Neil Shah, director of the Society is available for media comment on any issue relating to stress.