Gaming retail giant GameStop has indicated it will shift its marketing efforts to more casual gamers in 2008, as the industry sees mainstream acceptance continue to grow.

A Next-Gen report quotes Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian as saying that while GameStop currently focuses on the more hardcore gaming market, which tends to buy products at higher prices than casual gamers, the company intends to broaden its efforts to reach a more mainstream audience in the coming year. Executives with the company have already said that casual and family games would receive special sections within their stores.

“Management indicated that the company is making progress in broadening its consumer base as videogames move into the mainstream, and there is broad consumer demand for Nintendo platforms (Wii and DS),” Sebastian said. “We note that merchandising to a broader consumer audience will remain a strategic priority for GameStop into 2008.”

He also added that despite the economic slowdown in the U.S., management feels the company is in “good shape,” and that a focus on pre-owned games will appeal to “budget-minded” consumers as the demand for software takes precedence over next-generation hardware purchases.

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