After the release of Flappy Bird in May of 2013, the hyper-casual game made a big entrance in the mobile game picture. In a matter of few weeks, Flappy Bird became a global sensation. Dong Nguyen, a Vietnamese game developer, developed the game. After designing Flappy Bird, he became amazingly popular. Simple gameplay mechanics characterizes hyper-casual games. They have very few features compared to core games. Former Rovio vice president Eric Seufert said these are simple games quickly explained in a screenshot.
First hyper-casual game
It became evident that you don’t need many sources and much time to develop a mobile game. Flappy Bird made 50 million downloads by January of 2014, making it one of the best free games on the iOS and Android Stores. Before that, games were with many features. Users have to spend some time before being engaged in the game. But, after the success and virality of the Flappy Bird game, the world realized that bigger isn’t always better. Even though the author immediately discarded the game under dispute over the design, it still made around $50,000 a day from in-app promotion.
Within a few years, hyper-casual games started fully established in the app stores. As a result, the number of hyper-casual games in the top charts is constantly rising. The term “hyper-casual” is deeply rooted in the world of mobile marketing, but the section still doesn’t exist in the Google Play Store and App Store.
Whatever the reason may be, the success of hyper-casual games is indisputable. They have transformed the mobile video game industry. With the success and growth of the hyper-casual genre, we can take a step back to look at everything that made the way hyper-casual games look in 2021. Understanding the hyper-casual space is essential for mobile developers, publishers, and marketers. Back in 2018, hyper-casual games ruled the top charts. Now, in 2021, we still see various hyper-casual names amongst high downloaded games.
What is a hyper-casual game?
A hyper-casual game is a lightweight game with minimum design. They are comparatively easy to produce and guarantee a high level of entertainment and replayability. Hyper-casual games are made to be approachable and enjoyable by the most significant number of players. As a result, the hyper-casual game will most often generate revenue from in-app ads rather than in-app purchases. The business strategy of publishers operating in the hyper-casual genre will usually be to design and publish the game quickly. After publishing, the goal is to get as many users as possible.
The lifetime value of a hyper-casual game
The existence of hyper-casual games usually is short. Acknowledging that the average user nowadays has over 100 apps on their phone, competition in the hyper-casual space is challenging. As a result, publishers usually resort to keeping the content fresh with constant releases of new titles. Subsequently, the LTV (long-term value) of a hyper-casual game player is not very high. Recently hardcore end of the gameplay spectrum began to enter the mobile. Before, titles like PUBG were reserved only for PC Gaming and Consoles. 2018 was the year when it became apparent that mobile gaming can match consoles as an equivalent gaming platform.
The main reasons why people play hyper-casual games are:
- To relieve stress
- To pass time
- The feeling of achievement after completing a challenge
- To jump into another world or character
- They are excited by something unique
- To nourish something special about them
- As an attachment to something they are eager about in real life
This kind of motive is what developers have in mind when developing a hyper-casual game.
Who is a hyper-casual gamer?
During commute or waiting at the hospital, the hyper-casual gamer desires to kill time. They don’t care about the genre as long as they’re amused and dedicated. Hyper-casual gamers usually enjoy some fun when they have nothing better to do. Hyper-casual gamers are one of the important reasons why the thriving mobile gaming industry spends a massive amount of time on a range of gaming genres.
The key elements of a hyper-casual game:
- Infinite Replay
- Minimal Effort
- Quick to Develop
- Wide Audience
- In-App Ads
Voodoo, Lion Studios, Say Games, Crazy Labs, Amanotes, Supersonic Studios, Playgendary and Rollic Gam are some of the top hyper-casual game publishers. As you can see, Voodoo beats the list with a mountainous 529 million downloads and has stayed at the top of this list for years now. The next most strong hyper-casual publisher is Lion Studios.
To sum up our views:
Success in the hyper-casual game genre might seem easy, but there are many details to think about. A hyper-casual mobile game may look relatively straightforward, but you need to stand out to succeed with the increased competition and emerging publishers. Hyper-casual games are easy to create and simple to play, and with the right promotional push, hyper-casual games can generate millions.