The Rise of Hard-Core on the Web

For the hard-core audience, however, the ultimate question is whether they want to play on the web or on the next-gen console.

Given the rise of Unity deployed in Flash and other 3D-friendly platforms on the web, Spark Capital’s Nabeel Hyatt believes the web may trend more and more toward a hard-core audience over time, especially since it’s not as ideal a channel for casual games as Facebook. In the next few years, he says, “Consumers will start to see [web] graphics getting close to consoles.”

At the same time, Hyatt notes, the audience for web games seems to have peaked. This has happened even with the growth of graphics quality in web games. (From my perspective, that’s probably because hard-core gamers already have the graphics power on their PCs to run high-end games on Steam, or via downloadable clients—so why would they shift to core-focused games on the web?) “But,” Hyatt suggests, “that may change with some new thing I can do on the web that I can’t do elsewhere.”

Which takes you to Hyatt’s next prognostication, covered in the following section.

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