Big Fish Games is teaming up with gaming startup Boss Fight Entertainment to deepen the definition of casual games. The two companies are teaming up to develop and publish a new game that will introduce casual gamers to a genre that was previously only accessible to niche audiences of hardcore gamers.
Hardcore gamers spend a lot of money playing games with a high degree of difficulty. But casual gamers are much more plentiful and they enjoy games that are a lot more accessible. Big Fish caters to casual gamers with a library of 3,000 web and mobile titles, and Boss Fight believes it can make a new kind of game that will have wide appeal.
Boss Fight Entertainment is a young company in Dallas, but it has a lot of credibility because it was founded by a team of game developers who made titles such as Zynga’s CastleVille and Microsoft’s Age of Empires and Halo Wars games. Castleville was a good example of a title that got tens of millions of players quickly and took a fantasy genre and made it into a broadly appealing game with a cartoon art style.
“Big Fish is growing and changing fast,” said Chris Williams, general manager and vice president of studios at Big Fish in Seattle, Wash. “It is not the company it was even a year ago. Successfully transitioning its PC legacy business to mobile, Big Fish launched five free-to-play games in 2013, and more than half of its 2013 mobile revenue stemmed from those products.”
He said that in 2014, the company will be focused on launching more free-to-play games, including some in unexpected genres.
Boss Fight chief executive David Rippy said in a statement, “We were impressed with Big Fish’s ability to take Big Fish Casino and scale it worldwide to the No. 1 grossing app in the casino genre, and the only casino game to make it into the top ten of both of Apple’s 2013 top-grossing lists. We are confident that with our game and Big Fish’s distribution and audience-building acumen, we have a winning combination.
Boss Fight believes it can create free-to-play casual games that push gameplay in new directions with deeper engagement and player investment. The company will announce its game later this year.
Big Fish had revenues of $266 million in 2013. It was founded in 2002 and it now has 3,000 PC games and 400 mobile titles. The company plans to show off new versions of its titles next week at the Game Developers Conference. Those include a new version of its Fairway Solitaire golf game.