SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 12 (UPI) -- Children's and casual games, once given short shrift by video game developers, are moving to the forefront as companies seek to broaden their U.S. audience.
Electronic Arts Inc., which made its reputation on game franchises such as "Medal of Honor" that appeal to hard-core players, is highlighting casual games in Santa Monica, Calif., during the E3 Media & Business Summit, the industry's annual get-together, The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
"We want to be the clear leader in casual games," said Kathy Vrabeck, president of EA's casual entertainment business. "It will be the fastest-growing area of the company."
Disney Interactive -- going beyond licensing its brand to other publishers and refocusing on child-friendly fare -- is planning a launch next year of D-Gamer, an online community that will let children build their own characters and socialize around Disney's games.
Under Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger, Disney identified games as a key business poised for double-digit growth.
"The company is confident about the future of the video games business," Hopper told the Times. "It's an area where we can see new intellectual property being birthed that can translate to other areas of the company."