Farming Simulator 2013 is a real game. And the title suggests a few things. One--there are people interested in farming simulator games. Two--there are people interested in annualized farming simulator games.
While games like "Euro Truck Simulator 2" won't sell Call of Duty numbers any time soon, they are successful enough to warrant yearly releases. SCS Software, "one of the biggest" developers of truck simulating games, says that they have a "small but very devoted fan community, people who keep coming back and supporting us." But who are these people?
A new report on Gamasutra explores the fascinating world of niche simulation games like "Bus Driver." According to SCS owner Pavel Sebor, these simulation games attract two groups of players. "There are kids 8-12 playing the games--players who are not yet into FPS or other core genres, but are captivated by the idea of driving these big vehicles. I guess every boy at age 7 or so wanted to drive a cement mixer or garbage truck or something similar," he said.
The other group is a male 35+ audience, "basically people who have some professional, or should I say emotional, ties to trucking or transportation industry." It seems that some professional truckers come home and relax by playing a virtual simulation of trucking. (It's like how some game developers play Game Dev Story.)
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While these games are available in the States, it appears audiences in Eastern Europe and other developing countries gravitate to these titles far more. Why do these games appeal more to lower-income countries? "A trucker may be considered a low-prestige job in the UK," Sebor postulated. But, in countries where these games are popular, "the more this job smells of adventure and distant horizons--plus it's perhaps paying better than average in those countries."
Marc Schwegler, associate producer at Farming Simulator's Giants Software echoes many of the sentiments of Sebor, saying that his game also appeals to children and farmers. In fact, the game has been so successful, it's expanded to a number of other platforms. In fact, a PS Vita version is in the works for the franchise's 2014 release.