April 2nd, 2009, 10:21 Posted By: wraggster
DS Month: As part of the ongoing DS Month on CasualGaming.biz, we’ve spoken to some of the key figures in the UK games industry about their thoughts on Nintendo’s device ahead of its arrival in the UK on April 3rd.
Here, CG.biz talks to Zushi Games’ marketing manager Chris Brown.
CG.biz: Why do you feel the DS has such mass-market appeal, and what has been key to its ability in expanding the industry's customer base?
CB: There are a number of factors involved, such as the Touch-screen & Stylus interface, which makes the console more accessible to a new audience who would maybe feel alienated in the past by an abstract input such as a Joystick and a multitude of buttons.
This coupled with the fact that the initial software line-up and TV advertising strategy had games such as Nintendogs and Brain Training that would appeal to a wider female audience and an older demographic that would not have played games in the past.
This broke down previous perceptions of videogames being a younger male dominated market and opened up the door for your younger sister, mum, dad and even grandparents to take the plunge and have a go.
Since its launch back in 2006, the phenomenal success of the Nintendo DS Lite® worldwide has allowed publishers to create dynamic and creative games reaching much wider target audiences and establishing themselves what is now becoming known as the emerging casual games market!
Nintendo’s foresight, dedication to its brand and strategic positioning of both the DS and Wii consoles, has allowed publishers like ZOO to become more innovative and focused on their business and product development strategies.
At Zoo we continue to look into our New Product Development Strategy and adopting licenses that will attract the mass-market buyers out there for the DS and now DSi platforms.
This year we’ve self funded a number of games, making sure we drive our product development programmes, both in the UK and overseas to target the individuals and families that enjoy gaming In all its varied genres.
For example, take our upcoming licenses; Love Is…, SmileyWorld® and Jelly Belly®, all of which have mass-market appeal across a wide variety of target audiences. From parents, kids to teenagers, there is something for everyone in the ZOO DS and DSi line up this year!
Zoo have the following games based on their new licenses ready for release in the upcoming months.
Love Is…® in bloom – Take control of the popular Love Is…® characters in their first ever videogame outing as they plant, grow and collect flowers to make beautiful bouquets to sell in their flower shop.. Full of the same endearing charm as the original cartoons you get to work on a blossoming relationship as well as growing a thriving business. There are 12 varied and unique arcade-style games to choose from with user-friendly controls using the DS stylus!
SmileyWorld® Island Challenge - Join Smiley and friends in this exciting adventure game. Marooned on a desert island the only way to escape is by completing each of its challenges while avoiding the perils and dangers ahead, and collecting rewards and treasures along the way. With 14 actioned packed games, trophy rewards for replay value and head-to-head 2 player duel mode using the Nintendo DS Wi-Fi technology to keep players of all ages entertained for hours on end!
Jelly Belly®: Ballistic Beans – Now lovers of the Jelly Belly beans brand can indulge themselves in this official licensed video game with 8 thrilling themes and 5 maniacal modes of bean blasting fun and dazzling power-ups aplenty!
Is it pinball? Is it breakout? No! It’s Jelly Belly Ballistic Beans for the Nintendo DS!
Enrichment and diverse game play entertainment is what we are striving for within our products this year and these all hit the nail on the head when it comes to bringing gaming to life on the DS platform.
All 3 licenses combine vibrant visuals with a real sense of fun and entertainment value, to provide a feel-good factor to the individual and family audiences - the whole essence of what casual games should be about!
CG.biz: What is next for the DS? What can the DSi bring to the table that's not currently there?
CB: As a UK publisher the DSi has made the DS more personal and wants to let avid gamers and people into social networking, keep, swap and edit music and photos wherever possible. It also gives publishers the added security from piracy because of the removal of the physical media cart and GBA slots. We’ve welcomed the transitional move to paid-for downloads of demos, entire games and other content, which we’ll also be focusing a great deal in the upcoming year! There is enough onboard memory and a SD card slot to let enthusiasts take full advantage of sharing content too.
The 0.3 megapixel camera is sufficient although we would have liked to have seen this added feature fully integrated with the device for gamers to use and promote their own bespoke ‘user generated’ content within games and online communities within Social Networking sites. We are definitely excited about the added functionality and the DSi’s potential to broaden players horizons even further and we are currently looking into all possibilities with our developers.
For more information and downloads, click here!
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