THQ getting more casual

WWE SmackDown! publisher buys Elephant Entertainment, signs exclusive deal with Oberon Media.

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THQ has decided it's time to kick off its shoes, loosen up its tie, and make a bigger push into the casual-games market.

The company has bought up Elephant Entertainment, a casual- and online-gaming business. THQ has further signed an exclusive, worldwide retail-publishing agreement with Oberon Media.

The agreement means that THQ will be bringing Oberon Media's back catalogue to consoles, including the popular hidden-objects game series Dream Day, which includes Dream Day Wedding, Dream Day Honeymoon, and Dream Day First Home.

In addition, Oberon Media recently announced a hidden-objects game based on James Patterson's series of murder-mystery novels called Women's Murder Club: Death in Scarlet, which will be coming this May.

Doug Clemmer, president of THQ's casual-games division ValuSoft, commented that the deals would "significantly expand" the company's stake in the casual-games sector.

The financial terms of the two deals were not disclosed.

Discussion

35 comments
zhuge_liang_
zhuge_liang_

Hope that this growing company will not be "eaten" by EA...

majidok
majidok

Elephant entertainment , lol funny name . "Horton" Entertainment . Valusoft is now THQ's casual games division ? Arent they the ones behind CTU Marine Sharpshooter and Navy Seals : WMD ?

haesuse
haesuse

encouraging indy devs and big guys developing "casual" games is a good thing on multiple fronts. it works financially, it allows games such as ES, and PJ Monsters, etc. However too many companies are bandwaggoning on this and it just feel like a fad more than an actual becoming trend. You take it for what it is, but as long as some of the devs and the projects that are worth live on we'll get something out of it!

Cobra5
Cobra5

Publishers can get more money by producing low-cost high-profit casual games, and that in turn can positively effect their other projects. For example THQ is also publishing Dawn of War 2, and Company of Heroes...

re4leonkennedy
re4leonkennedy

If you don't like casual games don't play them. Its really as simple as that. People who have gamespot accounts are probably not that casual of video game players. Why do people have to complain that casual games are causing less hardcore games in the same year that ssbb, mgs 4, gta 4, resistance 2, and gears of war 2 come out.

zaku101
zaku101

I blame the Wii for this.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

Dream Day Honeymoon might be the AO title GS has been waiting for! Really, how is this news? "Game developer has decided it is going to make games. Details to come" I guess GS thought we needed our weekly dose of "casual gaming" hate / paranoia.

Units420
Units420

Wow, I can't believe some are actually blaming casual games for ruining gamings "street cred." I just wonder when being a gamer went from having fun and rejoicing in the genre rather than this need to vilify specific types of games and gamers?

Kolt-Python
Kolt-Python

Translation: We'll suck on the money-making casual gaming tit while using less effort than before. Hey if it works, it works right.

honestgamer
honestgamer

You people are pretty funny. Casual games are every bit as fun as hardcore games. No, seriously! I've played through hundreds of games, many hardcore and some casual. It's all in your frame of mind. If you think you're too incredibly awesome to play a casual game, you'll miss out on a lot of great gaming. I played through one of the Dream Day games to review on my site, for example, and had a lot of fun with it. The series is quite enjoyable and a nice change from a steady stream of hardcore games. When you really think about it, both types of game have fallen into ruts here and there. Do we really need another game about a rogue government operative or a space marine more than we need another innovative but simplistic sim title or a search-and-find game? No. We really don't. Bashing games you haven't played but don't like because of the 'casual' label stopped being cool in 1988.

Altair1337
Altair1337

lol why is everyone hating on the Wii? chill out people. there are plenty of non-casual games out there. quit complaining and go play them.

MrDuDe33
MrDuDe33

Meh, Hidden object games for the Wii?! Who will pay for this? Give me a dollar and I'll draw a picture with hidden objects for you to find, believe me, that's enough. No need for stupid hidden object games for the Wii.

joey4uncw
joey4uncw

If it's a necessary evil then it sounds like they make money off of it where as the "real" games may not make as much money. But that's just one way to look at it I guess. Doesn't seem to be an evil at all but good for gaming in general .

MrOverlord
MrOverlord

Casual games... a necessary evil, so real developers can concentrate on real games... I hope they'll make money out of that pile of crap so that Relic could be allowed to proceed with project development at their own pace.

thekodaman
thekodaman

The title of this article should be "THQ jumps on the Casual Bandwagon". This asides, I should clarify. I don't like casual games because they are undoing the hard work development teams like Team ICO have done to get gaming recognised as a real hobby rather than the sole kingdom of the "lazy" idiot.

LusterKaizer
LusterKaizer

While the Wii didn't start casual gaming they've heavily pushed it in the casual direction with the way there console is built (Basically an upgraded Gamecube with innovative but universally recognisable controller) and the relatively cheap price tag. Let's face it besides Nintendo's First Party titles and small handful of third party titles the rest of the games the Wii has to offer is just trash that no real gamer would ever touch. Though i think things will improve once these casual gamers get more in gaming as they may want something with more depth to there gameplay.

twolegsbad
twolegsbad

Dream Day Honeymoon is slated for an AO rating.

NinjaMunkey01
NinjaMunkey01

so what, its not like they are going to stop making good games. you people blame the wii for all this, but you dont just have to play serious games. I do like more serious games, like MGS, R6 and some racers, but its also really fun to play wii sports for a while, especially against someone. its just another gaming genre, so stop bashing it.

VenomRitual
VenomRitual

imblomas is right. this is bad news. i don't want minigame collections or one dimensional gameplay. give me bioshock 2, call of duty 5, half life 3, quake 5! casual are sometimes fun but how long do they last b4 im bored again?

lmblomas
lmblomas

Casual gaming is the wii's fault, thanks to all the new found gamers who purchase casual games on the wii making it the system thats currently selling the most. So now devs instead of making deep games are making these crap casual games just so they can make more money. So casual gaming is the wii"s fault.

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

Dream Day Wedding or GTAIV? I wonder which will sell more copies... Not really in the same league as news about the EA / Take Two takeover.

p0rkp1e74
p0rkp1e74

how is a THQ deal to be blamed on the Wii......casual gaming is not the Wii's fault and it also isn't owned by Nintendo and who said all these games were coming out for the Wii?

Karmacodelc18
Karmacodelc18

Great. Another reason for me to hate THQ...they make all those stupid Spongebob games that get dumped on the Wii (thats why its image is so immature...) now this...

x_SuperMario_x
x_SuperMario_x

with more casual games, top notch developers will realize they can make a great game, and it will be one of a few out on the market. and pinworm: you're an idiot. the Wii didn't start casual gaming. casual gaming has been around long before the Wii.

Mj-Healy
Mj-Healy

Here come some awful awful games.

Relys
Relys

Yes.. But I don't think it will be possible for them to get any crappier.

PiNwOrM
PiNwOrM

Of course they have. Every company is going to do this now. It's the gaming equivalent of selling out. Thanks wii. Thanks a whole lot.