Casual Connect USA Justin Saint Claire

Yesterday we ran our final Casual Connect USA news item for the year: a preview of upcoming games Animal Park Tycoon and Yeti Rising. Now its time to look back at how Windows Phone and Windows 8 fared at the show. Did they live up to our predications, and has Windows Phone gaming prospered since Casual Connect 2012?

Microsoft's showing

Casual Connect USA Paul Acevedo Paymentwall
Hey, it's me! You couldn't tell very well who it belonged to, but this was the Payment wall booth.

We didn't expect Microsoft themselves to have much presence at Casual Connect. The Windows platform holder went all-out at GDC earlier this year and of course E3, but didn't make any advance announcements for Casual Connect.

As it turns out, Microsoft did have a small, understated booth dedicated to Windows 8 at Casual Connect. Poor Windows Phone got left out for some reason. Justin Saint Claire, Product Manager (pictured at top) did hint that both platforms will make a stronger showing next year.

Game developer support

Casual Connect USA GREE

This year Windows Phone saw so much more support from game developers than last year. For comparison, we only learned about six different games at Casual Connect Seattle. At this year's event in San Francisco, we learned about 14 brand new games, to say nothing of app announcements and interviews concerning existing games. Established indie developers are lining up to bring their titles to Windows Phone (and Windows 8), and they're excited to talk about them.

Interest in mobile Xbox games however has dwindled to near nonexistence – such a huge shame. Yes, today's announcement of 15 games (technically 12 newly announced titles for Windows Phone 8) from Gameloft is fantastic. But one publisher - no matter how impressive and varied their games may be - cannot sustain the Xbox lineup on Windows Phone. We need developers like Artifex Mundi, Handy Games, and Flare Games to care about Xbox support as well.

Hopefully Microsoft has a change of heart and decides to promote Xbox Windows Phone once again. If they revamp the mobile Xbox certification process and policies in order to make Xbox support appealing, developers will come around.

Casual Connect USA Big Fish Games

Now here are all of this year’s Casual Connect stories for you. If you missed any, please check them out, watch the videos, and leave comments!

Windows Phone only stories:

Windows 8 only stories:

Windows Phone and Windows 8 stories:

Out of all the games we covered from the show, which ones are you fine guys most excited for?

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