“The man who birthed Xbox Live Arcade has abandoned his brainchild. With freshly inked adoption papers, Greg Canessa, former general manager of Xbox Live Arcade, will now nurture PopCap Games’ console and handheld divisions as the vice president of video game platforms,” Chris Kohler reports for Wired News.
Kohler reports, “Why is his defection so important? The casual games market is estimated at $1 billion, and it’s projected to hit as high as $5 billion by 2009. That’s a huge amount of growth considering the video game market’s revenues currently tally $7.4 billion. Under Greg Canessa’s watchful eye, XBLA titles have reached 20 million downloads. PopCap hopes the former XBLA manager will extend that same magic to future PopCap titles slated for consoles and handhelds.”
MacDailyNews Note: Canessa began his professional career at Apple Computer as a games marketer and evangelist. PopCap: http://www.popcap.com/
In the Q&A, with Kohler Canessa drops a bombshell:
Kohler: So what exactly will you be doing for PopCap?
Canessa: I will help proliferate their titles on other consoles. It’s a broad in scope role. It encompasses everything from vision and strategy to execution and marketing. It will all be part of my group and charter. Business development will be part of that as well. It will be about taking the stable of franchises and games out of PopCap’s studio and adapting, customizing it for different platforms — adding multiplayer, new play modes, HD, customizing the user interface and display for Zune, ipod, Apple TV, Nintendo DS, PSP.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple TV? Whoops! And then Canessa does it again:
Kohler: Are you going to move PopCap games into retail distribution channels?
Canessa: Absolutely. Without getting into any specifics, the charter that’s been given to me is to extend beyond pure online distribution — although we will be doing a lot of that. It will extend to the retail channel. An impulse price point means you can sit on your couch, decide to buy and then play multiplayer Heavy Weapon. That works perfectly for iTunes or Xbox Live Arcade, for well-formed digital distribution destinations that have the mass market understanding of how to use these channels.
Kohler: Where do you see the casual games market in the next five years?
Canessa: Casual games, gaming in general, will continue to penetrate into the psyche of the mass market public. We ain’t seen nothing yet in terms of where it’s going to be in the next couple years. More and more soccer moms and grandmas will play. It’s going to continue to grow into non-core demographics. This is relevant as it pertains to devices that are not currently earmarked as gaming devices: mobile, set-top boxes, Apple TV, MP3 players and other devices in the home that will reach the non-gamer — people who don’t think they want to play.
Full article and interview here.
MacDailyNews Take: Now, there’s a real “wow!” Hopefully, Apple CEO’s Jobs won’t be too upset about Canessa’s confirmation.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tommo_UK” for the heads up.]
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