Mid-core: In gaming, a category between “casual” and “hardcore.”
“What the hell does ‘mid-core’ mean anyway?” Gamasutra contributor Kris Graft (a pseudonym?) asked in January of this year:
Months ago, we started seeing the emergence of the term “mid-core.” Some say it's the future of mobile and social games. Big companies are acquiring “mid-core” developers to capture the “mid-core” audience. Game studios are creating games aimed at the “mid-core.”
Gamasutra asked its readers and the Twittersphere to supply a definition. Here are some of the responses (n.b.: In gaming, “AAA” refers to games developed for major platforms with large marketing budgets):
(1) Hardcore arranges their schedules around their gaming.
(2) Mid-core arranges their gaming around their daily schedule.
(3) Casual entertains self with games when time presents itself.
-- Tony Goodman, founder, PeopleFun
A core game along existing genre tropes, but with short-form narrative potential and the ability to support short & long sessions
— Raphael van Lierop (@RaphLife) December 10, 2012
I prefer the term @jaimewoo had for it: 'Softcore Gaming'.
— Jen Harrison (@jennofour) December 10, 2012
Above Zynga/casual games, but below AAA titles like Dishonored or Crysis 3.
— Becky Taylor (@omglazerkittens) December 10, 2012
I’d prefer it to be called goldilocks-core.
No one really has a clue what it is, but it’s “just right”. – Aaron Steed, in the comments section
Hat tip to Neal Whitman, whose most recent Visual Thesaurus column is about the evolution of “hardcore” and the many uses of the “-core” suffix.
Related: See my posts on mumblecore, lardcore, and couplecore.
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