GamerDNA founder and CEO Jon Radoff writes: I gave a talk at Austin GDC 2009 titled "Emerging Trends in Gameplay: The Blurring Lines Between Casual and Hardcore." One of the main points I made–and which I think was well received–is the notion that you shouldn't be thinking of casual and hardcore as two separate market silos. Instead, think of how to utilize what works in each category (casual = accessible, hardcore = immersive/engaging) in whatever games you are creating.
If you have been to one of my talks on market trends before, some of the data will look familiar–but there's something here for everyone, new or old! However, I was able to include some very recent data from Twitter that shows the stellar growth in game-related conversations for the last three months (7.6% compound week-over-week growth!) as well as shifts in Twitter conversation regarding games (e.g., the huge impact that The Beatles: Rock Band made on game-related attention in the week of 9/9/09).