Hyper Casual Games
Mobile Gaming’s Emerging Genre
Mobile phones have evolved dramatically over the past decades. It is interesting to note that the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) which was on-board the Apollo 11 (NASA’s mission which sent the first man to the moon) had around 32 Megabits of RAM and a CPU speed of just 0.043 MHz. On the other hand, the present-day smartphones typically have 4GB of RAM and a CPU speed of around 3 GHz. It means that present-day smartphones have much more memory and processing power than the computer that landed man on the moon over 50 years ago.
This transition from being bulky and heavy devices to our portable entertainment companions has had a great impact on our lives. As technology continued to evolve, we moved on from just doing phone calls to text messaging, video calling, booking hotels, paying bills, and then playing games on our phones. Right from Tetris (1994) and Snake (1997), games have been an integral part of mobile phones.
It is amusing to know that the simplicity of games like Tetris and Snake has not been lost on account of the increased processing capacity of mobile phones. Data reflects that Hyper Casual games have seen unprecedented growth. According to an AppsFlyer report (the global leader in mobile attribution and marketing analytics), Hyper Casual apps had the highest number of installs on average per app in more than half of the top markets across the world.
Additionally, as per the App Annie’s report on The State of Mobile 2020, close to half of all the game downloads in 2019 came from the Hyper Casual category.
What are Hyper Casual games?
Hyper Casual games are games that are easy to learn and play. These lightweight games have simple mechanics that offer instant gameplay. Hyper Casual games come with easy controls and do not have a steep learning curve. In times when people are deeply engrossed in their highly committed work lives, they are increasingly looking for low-commitment entertainment. They want to simply have fun in short sessions without dedicating too much time, brainpower, and attention span. They want short bursts of enjoyment and Hyper Casual games fit well within these requirements.
Despite their ease of use, a great Hyper Casual game is reasonably difficult to master. This keeps players motivated to play. Let us explore some more reasons because of which the popularity of Hyper Casual games is on the rise:
Lower barrier to entry: Within seconds of starting the game, the players understand how to play the game. The goals are clear and simple and controls are elementary. Even a child with basic skills in operating a mobile phone can play some of these games.
Flexible playing times: Furthermore, the EEDER’s report on Deconstructing Mobile and Tablet Gaming, 2019 reveals that how and when people play games is also changing. Unlike longer durations of hardcore gaming, playtimes of Hyper Casual games are shorter, allowing users to play while multitasking at home, traveling, waiting for a friend, taking a break from work, or even in the bathroom.
Huge market potential: A World Bank study of population trends by age group in India depicts that a major chunk of players lies predominantly between the age group of 20-44. Moreover, 75 percent of the population in India is below the age of 45 which makes it one of the largest potential markets for online gaming in terms of volume. Also, the Indian population is becoming increasingly urban with changed behavior, preferences, and lifestyle. Increasing penetration of low-cost smartphones with multiple features and the ease of internet connectivity in urban markets have been the key factors that have led to the emergence and rapid increase of online gaming in India.
Wide range of demographics: Hyper Casual games are also playable by users of all ages and interests because of their simplicity. These games transcend audiences of all genders, professions, and cultures.
Ad monetization based business model: Hyper Casual games generate most of their revenue from advertising. These games attract players from nearly all demographics and thus many advertising companies are running branding campaigns in mobile games. The gaming industry also offers engaging formats of advertisements like full-screen video. The universal appeal and social nature of the gaming industry offers a multitude of opportunities for direct monetization, user engagement and brand promotions.
Development costs: For Hyper Casual games, the development cost tends to be lower as compared to other genres. These games can be built and released with relative ease. This makes them an attractive avenue for developers as they have to invest fewer resources to get a game live. Players of Hyper Casual games can be acquired at relatively lower rates making it easy to market these kinds of apps, which is why Hyper Casual games now dominate the app store charts.
However, the major challenge for game developers is the high rate of app uninstallation. Even though the processing power and the memory of phones have increased over the years, people still don’t want to flood their phones with multiple apps. Moreover, the exploratory nature of gaming means users pick out games in their favorite genres, try them out, and uninstall just as quickly without giving it a second thought. In that scenario, HTML5 gaming aggregators such as Gamezop step in. Gamezop provides users a catalog of more than 250+ Hyper Casual games within a single touchpoint. Interestingly, these games do not require any installation.
The gaming industry is undergoing dramatic changes. It has transitioned from being limited to just friends and family activity to a thriving online activity where one can also connect with strangers from across the world. These days participation and engagement in gaming are becoming widely recognized and pursued. Growth in the gaming industry is being further fuelled by increasing affordability of smartphones, improving internet connectivity, changing needs of social interaction, and a growing youth population base. The universal appeal and social nature of the gaming industry offer a multitude of opportunities for direct monetization, user engagement, and brand promotions. Thus, Hyper Casual games represent a major industry that will continue to grow and evolve.
By – Pallavi Gangwar