A casual game is a video game targeted at a wide, mass market audience, as opposed to a hardcore game, which is a game targeted at a more niche audience of hobbyist gamers. Casual games may exhibit any type of gameplay and genre. They generally have simpler rules, shorter sessions, and less learned skill than hardcore games.
Countless casual games have been developed and published, alongside hardcore games, across the history of video games. A concerted effort to capitalize on casual games grew in the 1990s and 2000s, as many developers and publishers branded themselves as casual game companies, publishing games especially for personal computers, web browsers, and, after 2007, smartphones.