The future of the hyper-casual games market

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The mobile games industry saw a boom in numbers during the pandemic, with downloads up as well as revenue. People were obliged to stay at home, battling boredom in uncertain times, so having a fun game to pick up and play on your phone became a relaxing and convenient pastime.

As with other areas of the games industry, the hyper-casual market generated high numbers during this time with games specifically aimed at being instantly playable, with often simple but engaging gameplay that you can play in short bursts and revisit frequently. In 2020 downloads in mobile gaming increased by 38% in the first quarter of the year and revenue saw an increase of 25%.

With the world slowly but surely returning to normality these numbers have seen a dip, with the hyper-casual market losing 8.3% in the first quarter of 2022, after it showed a growth of 13.5% at the end of last year according to AppMagic research.

Despite the dip in numbers and the likelihood that people will have busier schedules and therefore less time to game, the hypercasual market is still growing. This growth may not be of the height and speed seen during the pandemic, but the mobile gaming industry as a whole is expected to grow exponentially from 2022 to 2029.

Hyper-casual competition

The world of the hyper-casual games market has become increasingly competitive as developers, publishers and investors can all see the potential for these lightweight games models and their future growth.

Co-founder of hyper-casual studio Ducky, Ivan Fedyanin, wrote a piece about the market situation and commented on the appeal of the hyper-casual model saying “Many investors are becoming interested in the hypercasual genre and recognize that simple games are increasingly attracting consumers attention with the ability for players to dive into these games cheaply and quickly.”

Developers can find a great niche within the hyper-casual world as there is a low barrier for entry into the genre. In terms of the size of the team, a couple of members may be all that is needed and development time on these types of titles is significantly faster than that of bigger, more complex games.

Publishers and investors can also see the possibilities that hyper-casual games are presenting, and as the market continues to grow those working in this field will need to ensure they stand apart from the crowd, improve their marketing and find beneficial partnerships. Last month we had Ducky business developer and publishing manager Daria Udodova write a guest post on partnering with a hyper-casual publisher.

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