Casual gaming's a winner

A man plays solitaire on his cell phone


Doug Krizner: Last week, the video-gaming industry had its E3 trade show in Santa Monica. The buzz there was about so-called "casual gaming." This week, casual gamers are meeting in Seattle for their own trade show. And as Ashley Milne-Tyte reports, there's nothing casual about it.

Ashley Milne-Tyte: Players can download casual games off the Internet, take a free trial, and then buy the game for around $20.

Unlike the notorious hardcore video game Grand Theft Auto, casual games tend to be on the lighter side — from solitaire to games about building a business.

Almost three-quarters of buyers are women over 35. Jessica Tams of the Casual Games Association says they're helping to fuel the industry's rapid growth.

Jessica Tams: Casual gaming has become a very, very large business over the last couple years. Right now, there's 200 million people playing casual games. And in 2008, the revenues are going to hit $1.5 billion a year.

That's up from $700 million in 2006. Tams says sure, the core industry is worth many billions more. Still, casual gaming is growing four times faster than its rival as new developers leap into the space.

I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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