Hyper casual games are simple, easy-to-understand gaming experiences that provide immediate, instant satisfaction for players. They’re also a mobile monetization phenomenon. The background and benefits of producing hyper-casual is known to many, but this section covers the main points that will get anyone up to speed.
Simple, short and satisfying
Hyper casual games are designed for instant fun. Anyone can launch and play within a matter of seconds and without a tutorial, as the games feature minimal controls and mechanics. Hyper casual games are snackable, allowing players to idle away a few minutes while waiting for a coffee, traveling, or relaxing at home, while also being challenging — making for a replayable and addictive experience.
Fun for everyone
Getting away from the “gamer” label has proven powerful. Hyper casuals have mass appeal that transcends audiences across different ages, genders, and cultures. In fact, today’s mobile gamer is more likely to be female — women represent 55% of the market — and over the age of 30. This audience gravitates to hyper casual, avoiding hardcore, gamer-centric titles.
A loyal following
Hyper casual addicts are fiercely loyal to the format, which partly explains the rise in what has been an underutilized model of monetization. Hyper casual developers commonly advertise their further catalog of apps among their titles, sending users from one experience to the next. Push notifications are also heavily deployed to engage and send users to their next game.
A new way to monetize
Hyper casuals shook the industry by making in-app ad revenue mainstream. The bulk of hyper-casual mobile games studio revenue comes from players watching ads, which are served at a high frequency (making them part of the experience). Ads can be shown at volume because the levels are short and challenging, meaning more opportunities to show adverts when a player fails or progresses.
Driving down CPIs
The cost to acquire users must be low in order for ad revenue to make sense. “Hyper casuals are reliant on very low CPIs,” Thiago Monteiro, Director of Growth at Peak, observed in a recent panel at Mobile Spree, “as soon as an audience gets too expensive, they need to step out.”
Speed and momentum are paramount
Hyper casuals are produced fast, iterated quickly and dumped if they don’t perform. For publishers, getting a game from ideation to testing to updates could take as little as six weeks, or even less in some cases. Soft-launches are used to test and see what sticks, and then high-volume marketing turns potential high-performers into hits. The apps are then optimized over time, with additional features circulated across app titles.
Above all, decisions made in hyper-casual mobile games are made with one thing in mind: data. Hyper casual only works with a performance-driven mindset and marketers must be willing to experiment with all types of formats to see what works, using only data to evaluate their decisions.
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