How Developers Can Align Apps With Trends Using Hyper-Casual Games

Want to take advantage of the latest trends in pop culture or other popular topics? One of the best ways to do so for developers is to create relevant hyper-casual games. These mobile applications give developers the chance to easily jump on topics that are seeing a considerable amount of buzz. By harnessing the power of hyper-casual games, developers can benefit from a simple development process to develop an app that attracts ample engagement and generates profits. 

What Are Hyper-Casual Games?

Hyper-casual games are a kind of lightweight gaming application that features simple designs. Making hyper-casual games is typically easy and gives players plenty of replay value and entertainment. Their simplistic design and ease of playability make them popular among many audiences, including those who don’t normally play games.

In most cases, hyper-casual games revenue comes from in-app ads over in-app purchases, but in-app purchases could come into play and help increase profitability. Once published, the main goal with hyper-casual games is to attract the greatest number of users possible. Hyper-casual games also feature a high user retention rate compared to other gaming apps, with an average day-one retention rate of 32.3%, only decreasing to 8.3% by day seven. Compare this to the average retention rate for more conventional gaming apps, which is 28.7% on day one and 8.7% by day seven. 

The History of Hyper-Casual Games

Many hyper-casual games have come around, but the best hyper-casual games remain immortal in our memories. The first notable hyper-casual game was Flappy Bird, which was released for mobile devices in 2013 and became one of the most popular games across the globe. 

Prior to the development of Flappy Bird, most mobile gaming apps featured a variety of features that worked to draw in users, but Flappy Bird was an exception that everyone could simply jump into from the start. Although the app has since been taken down, many imitators and apps inspired by Flappy Bird have become international sensations in subsequent years.

Interestingly, hyper-casual games still aren’t an official category according to app stores, without any category including this type of game specifically. Regardless, games featuring simple designs and highly immersive gameplay with a minimal learning curve are just as popular as ever. They’re likely to continue growing as more and more developers see the value of using these apps to boost app engagement and retention. 

What Goes into a Hyper-Casual Game?

A hyper-casual game design generally consists of the following features: 

Simple, Minimalist Design

One of the key elements of a hyper-casual game is intuitiveness. People should be able to easily and instantly pick up the game and start playing. There shouldn’t be any need for a lengthy tutorial or even a simple one. Users typically learn how to play based on a minimal set of in-game rules that are obvious from the start. In the process, these apps provide optimal immersion for players. 

The main reason why these apps experience such a high retention rate is that they’re so easy to get into as a player with any experience level. From people who hardly ever touch games to hardcore gamers looking for a fun way to waste time, these apps appeal to just about everyone specifically because they’re so easy to pick up and play.

As such, these games should feature a basic user interface that minimizes the number of buttons, menus, or numbers. In fact, many of these games simply feature a single button to control the game. Also, keep game mechanics simple and easy to learn on the fly.

An All-Inclusive Audience

Unlike hardcore or even casual mobile games, hyper-casual games are intended for all audiences. They won’t appeal to a few audience segments here and there, but instead, they’ll attract audiences of all ages, genders, and experience levels. While some games might be targeted toward children more than adults and vice-versa, the audience you’ll want to target with these games is generally far broader than that of other apps. 

Using App Samurai for advertisers, you can target these audiences with an effective user acquisition platform that connects with the right users at the right time. 

Ability to Play Anywhere at Any Time

Because the best hyper-casual games are so simple and feature basic functionality, they are also ideal for playing in just about any situation and location. People should be able to play your game wherever they are, whether commuting to work via public transit, while casually watching TV, on the toilet, in waiting rooms, in line at stores, or in other places where they can take the time for a simple distraction. 

High Replayability

Part of what makes hyper-casual games so addictive to users is their infinite replay value. Although the gameplay mechanics and elements are normally very simple for these games, they should offer enough variety to keep users coming back for more. For example, you could introduce new weapons in a shooting game, new power-ups that players can use, or other upgrades that help players along as the difficulty increases. This will keep your games fun and exciting without presenting too many challenges or a dull experience. 

Ease of Development

Developers shouldn’t have to spend a lot of time on hyper-casual game design. Making hyper-casual games normally takes anywhere from days to weeks, but no longer than that. The point of these games is to generate high levels of engagement, retention, and income with minimal effort on the developer’s side. The quicker you can develop and launch your game, the better, as long as it’s fully functional and doesn’t frustrate users. 

Before launching your hyper-casual game, be sure to test it and determine what’s working and what could benefit from additional improvement. If testing shows promise and you find the game to be engaging and fully developed, it’s time to initiate a soft launch. A soft launch can further help identify and eliminate any bugs that might detract from the experience.  

When launching your app, also track its performance by looking at key performance indicators (KPIs) and corresponding metrics, including user downloads and retention. You should also set goals in place before measuring KPIs, so you know what meets or falls short of them.  

How to Monetize Hyper-Casual Games

If you want to monetize a hyper-casual game, you can generate revenue with one in a few different ways. 

Design Games Around Existing Trends

Due to the ease of development experienced with hyper-casual games, you can easily design and publish one to take advantage of the latest trends. For example, the South Korean TV series Squid Game led to many Squid Game-themed hyper-casual games that feature simple versions of the show’s various games. 

By aligning your app with these trends, you’ll drive significant user engagement for the people who are actively following them. As trends change, you could simply modify your app to reflect them or develop an entirely new hyper-casual game in no time. In the process, you’ll also be able to better achieve high rankings in app stores with consistently popular hyper-casual gaming experiences.

In-Game Advertising

One of the best sources for hyper-casual games revenue is in-game advertising, and advertisers continue to use this channel to their advantage. In fact, in-game advertising is projected to increase to $56 billion by 2024. However, there’s a balance you need to strike with your ads to ensure users enjoy their gaming experience. Try to avoid incorporating too many ads that might simply annoy the user and get them to stop using your app. Instead, include an ad at the end of each level, or require ads to play for players to earn certain rewards such as in-game currency.

In-App Purchases

Another way to earn money from your hyper-casual game is to use in-app purchases. For users who are addicted to your game and find it consistently engaging, in-app purchases are a great way for you to earn more while rewarding those players. Gamers like in-app purchases that give them access to new levels or features that enhance their gaming experience in little ways to keep it fresh. At the same time, you should ensure your in-game prices are fair and don’t deter gamers. Find a price that’s low enough to boost sales, and keep in mind that the more users you have, the more sales you’re likely to make with these small purchases.

Maximize Engagement and Earn Revenue Easily With Hyper-Casual Games

By developing and publishing hyper-casual games, you’ll be able to easily connect with potentially millions of users with an addictive and easy-to-use mobile application. Consider taking advantage of popular trends to inspire your games and reach these fans with a fun tie-in gaming experience. 

If you want to get the most from your hyper-casual game and ensure it reaches your target audience, turn to the growth experts at App Samurai. Using our innovative and secure growth platform, you can advertise and publish your app to maximize both reach and revenue. To learn more about our platform and what it can do for your app, contact us today.

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