Case study: How to come up with a hit game idea for 2023

CrazyLabs explains in detail how to come up with a game idea that will become a successful hit in 2023.
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Hyper-casual game ideation is one of the most challenging stages of the time-to-market race. Below, you’ll find inspiration resources to generate game ideas, and you’ll learn everything required to develop a top chart hit game.

Game Ideation Inspiration that Wins: Where to Find It

CrazyLabs’ monthly trend reports – We release a monthly trend report that’s accessed exclusively by our game developers. This comprehensive report covers all aspects of hyper-casual games: market analysis, the leading social trends (including TikTok hashtags) and prototypes.

We go into detail and cover hyper-casual prototypes including subgenres, mechanics, themes, and controls. All of this serves as an excellent source (backed by data and extensive research) for game idea inspiration.

To access our trend report, you need to apply to our CLIK dashboard on CrazyLabs’ Publishing Page here. Click on the ‘apply now’ or ‘test your game’ button.

Social media hashtags – Hashtags in general are super important for game developers when looking for inspiration for your next hit game. So how can you find your game inspiration through hashtags?

Start with popular gaming hashtags like the below, and search for them on both TikTok and Instagram:

  • #DIY
  • #Satisfying
  • #ASMR

Next, once you have a theme in mind, then you can dive deeper into theme-like hashtags like the ones below and explore the videos:

  • #food / #tiktokfoodie
  • #beautyhacks / #beautytips
  • #fallfashion / #winterfashion / #costumeideas

It’s very important to follow relevant hashtags so that it can help you identify trends in social media, which you then can reflect into your game. With that said, trends are always changing and as such so are hashtags. In our monthly trend report, we have a dedicated section for trending hashtags on TikTok, which is incredibly valuable.

Facts & Stats from top charts – To find out which games are most popular among mobile gamers — you need to look at the Google Play or App Stores top charts and see which games have the most downloads. It’s also a good idea to check ratings and the number of reviews a game has on its app page. Next, try to identify themes, mechanics, and subgenres of hyper-casual games that are in the top charts.

Reflect your new inspiration into a real game

After all of your research through the resources listed above, you need to ask yourself the million-dollar question:

Out of all the most successful games on the top charts, how can I put an interesting twist on a game?

First, it’s best to stick to your strengths, and decide which subgenre, theme or mechanic you’re best at. Brilliant game ideas are born through the mixing and matching of subgenres, mechanics, themes, and trends. The idea is to identify top chart games that you’re inspired by, and create a unique game by changing the mechanic, theme, subgenre, or trend.

As an example with Makeup Kit Color Mixing, we chose the simulation subgenre (because we’re a market leader in simulation games, and the developer’s behind the game expertise are also in simulation games).

Next, according to the CrazyLabs’ trend report, we noticed that color themes were trending, so we combined these two elements (simulation and the color theme trend). Additionally, we found a color theme trend on social media that was trending at the time, and so we knew we were on to something magical.

The next step to take once you have a game idea, is to check out video creatives (similar to your game idea’s theme or subgenre) on Facebook’s Ad Library. This will enable you to understand how to market your game, camera views, color palettes to use, and what’s capturing the player’s attention and how you can implement this in your video creative.

What we always need to remember is that the popularity of gaming trends and mechanics are always changing really quickly, so you need to keep this in mind when choosing which game-type to invest your resources in.

Plan your publishing funnel and make sure it can really succeed

The term “time to market” in gaming means the amount of time between when you create the concept of your game until it is launched on the app store and ready for download. For developers specifically, this process begins at the ideation stage and ends with taking your game to the top charts.

Your time-to-market needs to be faster than ever before — always assume that your competitors’ speed is moving at a crazy pace. Once your game is live on the stores, anyone can see it, and many companies will clone or take heavy inspiration from your games, and will come out with it before you. This can result in a direct impact on the success chances of your game.

To stay ahead, it should take you approximately 1 – 2 weeks max to create a CPI build, and 2 – 3 weeks for a Day 1 build. In today’s increasingly competitive hyper-casual market, it’s crucial to create a game that has more depth to it (includes features and meta) to achieve solid Day 3 and Day 7 retention. Our hyper-casual publishing funnel is what will take you from ideation to full release.

What’s next for your hit game?

Now that you know exactly what it takes to create a hit game for 2023, it’s time to get cracking on publishing your game and make sure you can keep it up to speed. Let’s publish your hit game for 2023 with CrazyLabs.

Create your next hit game with CrazyLabs

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