The Future of Hypercasual Games

by Caner Özdemir
Battle of Patogens

We have been witnessing the success of the hypercasual games. Many studios are investing in this genre to find the success that some others have achieved so far. Hypercasual games rely on quick product timelines and low production costs to release new games incredibly quickly. Therefore, even the people that never played a mobile game before getting their hands on hypercasual games. Because of their accessibility, they are easy to play and can be a useful tool to spend some time.

Hypercasual games require a short amount of time to create. That time can be as short as a couple of days but they usually won’t take longer than a month to produce. This can be a green light to many investors and game developers to focus on this genre and start the long journey of finding that “hit”. While this is good and all, a very important question arises. How long does the success of the hypercasual games will last? Will this genre be able to keep its popularity like it is today? Are they going to be able to surpass the other genres’ successes and become the leading genre amongst many other ones? Well, yes and no.

So, What Is Going To Happen to the Hypercasual Genre?

It is safe to say that the hypercasual games are not going anywhere, at least not soon. The data below shows the reason enough:

How Do People Play Mobile Games?

How Do People Play Mobile Games?

This data shows an interesting result. People are playing mobile games, all the time. Most of them, as seen in the data from the EEDAR’s 2017 Mobile Survey, are playing mobile games at home when they are multi-tasking. It means that, for example, they might play them when they are preparing food. They have some time for food to be ready and while waiting, they might appreciate a sweet and short entertainment in the application stores.

When people are waiting in the busses as passengers, or even when they are in the bathrooms, they shoot some stickman or collect some boxes for those awesome rewards. The satisfaction is very powerful, especially in this pandemic that is going on right now. When we are taking a break from the stress of work or school, mobile games are there to play and provide the distraction that people are searching for at the moment. They can be considered as some harmless distractions from real life without the serious side effects and that is one of the reasons why they are so popular.

The Popularity of Hypercasual Games

Hypercasual games are popular for many reasons. Most people love playing them and the investors like hypercasual games as well because of their short development cycle, compared to the other games. They can be published quickly, their development cycle allows the developers to move to the next title without much distraction. The quick production cycle  in the hypercasual genre allows the developers to make quick decisions and deliver products in a short amount of time while the end users are sustaining the popularity of this genre by playing those products.

The first hyper-casual game that gained wide popularity was Flappy Bird, which saw over 50 million downloads and generated around $50,000 a day in its prime. To give some more perspective to the interest about the hypercasual games, let us mention the deal that happened in August 2020 when Zynga decided to acquire the Istanbul-based hypercasual game publisher Rollic for 168 million dollars:

Zynga Acquired Hypercasual Mobile Game Publisher Rollic For 168 Million Dollars!

Zynga Acquired Hypercasual Mobile Game Publisher Rollic For 168 Million Dollars!

Rollic’s titles currently have more than 5 million mobile daily active users and 65 million mobile monthly active users. Eight of Rollic’s games have reached #1 or #2 top free downloaded games in the U.S. App Store. This success was noticed by Zynga and they acquired Rollic for 168 million dollars. Zynga expanded its business by joining the hypercasual genre and they are meaningfully growing their audience, expanding and diversifying their global advertising business, and adding to their game pipeline and developer network. The potential is so strong that hypercasual games are a business strategy that many companies are using to expand their business. Zynga is a strong example of this business strategy.

COVID-19 and the Hypercasual Games

The COVID-19 has significantly contributed to driving more users to the hypercasual genre. Cumulative install and session data for six countries from Adjust confirmed that the quarantine during the pandemic has increased interest in hypercasual games. That increase was noticed even at the very beginning of the pandemic and the impact was quick and rapid:

 Adjust Graphic For Hypercasual Games

Adjust’s Graphic For The Session Increase In Hypercasual Games At The Start Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

For the period December 2019 to March 2020, the installs approximately tripled globally. The highest increase in the downloads came from China, which grew nearly four times at the beginning of the pandemic. When the increase in the downloads began, sessions also increased. China led that increase with a rate of over 300%.

In March 2020, users downloaded more than 1.2 billion mobile games. Because the hypercasual games previously dominated the top charts before, this genre is also destined to grow and evolve beyond its current shape. The pandemic gave hypercasual games a chance to evolve when they were about to be more challenging to produce, due to the competition in the market. Now, many hypercasual games are evolving into a more “hybrid-casual” genre that still has the casual feeling of the hypercasual genre.

Monthly Downloads For The Biggest Hypercasual Titles From 2015 To 2019.

Monthly Downloads For The Biggest Hypercasual Titles From 2015 To 2019.

Increase At The Downloads Of Mobile Games In Google Play

The Evolution

Chat Master is a new hypercasual game that was released not long ago. The players are picking up choices during some online chat to ensure a good outcome. The conversations are very basic and very easy to understand. Therefore, choice picking is easy enough. This game also has many mini-games inside of it like drawing a cable through a very basic maze or slicing some smartphones. The players can lose or gain followers related to their performance in those mini-games. This mechanic has proven to be very useful for player engagement in long term.

Many games are carrying the hypercasual feeling with more complex content. These are experiences that imitate the gameplay and appeal of hypercasual games but with heavier content. They are taking elements from mid-core or strategy games and merging them with hypercasual to evolve and keep the simplicity while doing that. So, it is safe to say that the hypercasual games are changing but they are still going to be around to provide more entertainment. The hypercasual genre will evolve into a new subgenre that takes elements from mid-core and casual games while still staying hypercasual.

Related Posts