Earlier today Eidos formally announced the opening of its casual games division, and Develop was on hand at the GameHorizon/Game Republic event Northern Exposure yesterday to hear division chief Lou Fawcett explain the move.
Fawcett, the former biz dev exec at Climax, will oversee the release of console games under its recently acquired SoGoPlay label as well as managing the MumboJumbo casual PC games it sells through retail.
In the US, MumboJumbo has found immense success at the likes of Wal-Mart, sales volume making it a top 10 publisher in the country. With the casual games market growing, and the mass-market success of other platforms like the DS and Wii, Eidos wants to "capitalise on that market traction" and also spread the word to developers about the opportunity casual games offer them when it comes to low overheads and design focus.
"Producing a casual game really challenges your perception on how to make a game," she said.
"This is a huge untapped market for developers. Casual is an opportunity for developers to get in with a minimal investment of time and money."
Fawcett also said that a dedicated division meant Eidos could focus its own work in a growing category while it also works on its well known games like Tomb Raider.
"When you’ve got the big launches coming then it is hard to give attention to the smaller games – and casual games are a different market and group of consumers. It’s not just your standard ‘drop out a press release, tell the specialist press – job done’ approach that suits most console games."