Whitethorn Games has cultivated a very specific library of games. The company is known for releases like Calico, Wytchwood, Lake, and most recently, APICO. Each of these games is very different from one another, but they all have a common thread. These games are squarely aimed at bringing in casual players.
In an interview with Games Industry, Whitethorn Games CEO and founder Matthew White spoke about crafting titles aimed at the casual audience, and in particular, mentioned the trouble with the ‘casual’ term within the game industry. Casual is seen as a bad or negative word by gamers around the world, and White wants to push back against that.
“We aim at a more casual audience – the word ‘casual’ has all this baggage within games that I try to stay away from, so they’re not ‘casual games’, but they’re games to be played casually if that makes sense. We primarily focus on approachability and ease of access. Our audience is either young kids, or people who are a little older and have kids themselves. [For] our customers, games aren’t their primary hobby.
As a result we found really quick and happy friends in not-traditionally [represented] creators, so women, people of colour, queer folks, who have stories to tell that aren’t necessarily ‘run down that hallway and shoot people.’ Our entire catalogue pretty much consists of these sort of slow, approachable experiences.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg for this interview, and there’s a lot of interesting discussion about casual games and their audience shared. You can find the full interview here.