Electronic Arts, the behemoth of all things PC and Console gaming, is teaming up with old-fashioned toymaker Hasbro to adapt a bevy of Hasbro's titles for video gaming. EA figures the appeal of the rainy day board game will help them to win over the community of people who do not currently play hardcore gaming titles. These "casual" gaming customers are the new Holy Grail of developers -- the Wii people.
The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, adds momentum to the casual gaming trend, which has taken off in the past couple of years. The video game industry has long talked of broadening its appeal beyond traditional gamers to families, women and adults. But with the recent success of the Nintendo Wii console and its handheld counterpart, the Nintendo DS, publishers are now leaping headlong into the casual craze, with EA among the most vocal proponents of this strategy.
The Hasbro partnership comes less than a month after EA reorganized its business, creating a dedicated mass-market gaming label called EA Casual Entertainment. EA made clear its intentions to court the casual market at the E3 video game conference last month, where it devoted its press conference to its newest mass-market games such as Boogie and Playground.
I will weep salty tears when I can no longer make change with tattered bills across the warped cardboard Monopoly board, the one with the big stain on it from my little brother's overturned juice cup. Some things are meant for the virtual world, some for the real. But then again, such toys might disappear altogether if it didn't make its way onto a disk, so EA and Hasbro just might pass go, and collect 200 bazillion dollars with this idea.