Daniel James, one of the main Three Rings folks (makers of Yohoho Puzzle Pirates and the new Bang Howdy), has a new blog: The Flogging Will Continue… (until morale improves).
Note especially James’s second post, “Downloadable Games are a Dead-End.” He indicts the traditional casual-game try-before-you-buy economic model in this era of destructive domination by game portals such as Pogo, Miniclip, and that reckless salt-the-earth newcomer, Big Fish Games (“A New Game Every Day!”).
In “Casual Fortunes” in The Escapist issue 8, I recounted some success stories of casual gaming. Now, less than a year later, the portals (and the army of clone-makers they encourage) have crowded the market and jeopardized the download business model. (See “Attack of the Parasites” in The Escapist issue 34.) I wish Three Rings success with Puzzle Pirates and Bang Howdy — partly so more casual designers will realize there is life outside the portals.