The Rise of Hyper-Casual Games and the Future Ahead
The gaming industry consists of many different genres such as shooters, role-playing, simulation, action, puzzle and many more! The most recent phenomenon in gaming is hyper-casual games which have exploded in popularity. Hyper-casual games have entirely changed the way of gaming by developing games that anyone and everyone can play, regardless of age or skill level.
It is uncommon to see a grandson-grandmother duo addicted to the same game, but hyper-casual games make that happen. In only a span of a few years, hyper-casual games have dominated the app stores, constantly hitting the top charts. A report by Newzoo stated that hyper-casual games accounted for more than 30% of total game downloads among the top 100 globally in 2021. This equates to more than 13 billion downloads and an excess of $3.4 billion in ad revenue. Such striking figures have made hyper-casual games an attractive genre for both players and developers.
What makes a game a hyper-casual game?
These are games that are usually played with a single base mechanic, such as tapping (Flappy Bird) or swiping (Subway Surfers). Hyper-casual games are easy to learn but hard to master, which encourages gamers to continue playing over and over again. The addictive nature of hyper-casual games makes them engaging and attractive to all kinds of gamers.
Essentially, a hyper-casual game from a gamer’s point of view meets the following criteria:
Minimal Effort: A hyper-casual game does not require a set of advanced skills or a steep learning curve. In most cases, it does not even require a tutorial to get a gamer going!
Single-Base Mechanic: The playing approach is usually one simple and straightforward interface, whether it be tap, swipe, or anything else.
Infinite Replay: Hyper-casual games can be played infinitely, without them becoming boring or dull for the gamer. This is why new and more difficult levels keep coming to ensure the game is interesting.
Similarly, there are some basic elements of a hyper-casual game from a developer's point of view:
Quick to Develop: Due to the minimalist nature of hyper-casual games, they can be developed quickly in a period of a few weeks, sometimes even days!
Mass Market: Hyper-casual games are targeted at the mass market which is why they have a universally fun gaming experience.
Ad-based Revenue: The monetization of hyper-casual games happens through in-app ads which are often a mix of rewarded videos, playable and interstitial ads.
Here are some of the most iconic games in the hyper-casual genre:
One of the most legendary and popular hyper-casual puzzle games is Candy Crush, played by people of all ages for years! This game keeps you craving for more with reward-winning challenges, daily boosters, and more.
The bird that became a gaming sensation overnight, Flappy Bird had everyone tapping their phone screens in a lunatic manner in 2013. The simple tap-to-play mechanic combined with the enraging difficulty made sure that this game formed a love-hate relationship with its gamers.
Subway Surfers is an endless runner game where the main character is running away from an inspector who is chasing behind him! The simple swiping mechanic of this gaming interface made an easy template for hyper-casual games to follow.
What is the future of hyper-casual games?
While there is no doubt in our minds that hyper-casual gaming will continue to grow considering the simplicity and addictive nature of the games, we at Super Ultra envision that hyper-casual games integrated with blockchain technology will further disrupt the gaming industry.
A fun, simplistic game with instant playability that also rewards gamers with tradable assets or tokens that have ‘actual’ value in the real-world sounds like the perfect formula for a win-win gaming experience! Through advancements in blockchain reward mechanisms for games, we also expect to see a rise in hyper-casual gaming platforms that host many games and even include marketplaces for the in-game items you acquire in the form of NFTs, such as skins for your avatar. The potential earning element can attract an even larger user base to hyper-casual gaming bringing more excitement and success to this gaming genre in addition to improving player retention.