Cyprus-based publisher SayGames has announced that it’s shifting away from hypercasual titles, with a renewed focus on the hybridcasual market, reports Mobilegamer.biz.
“Future success is going to depend on studios’ ability to create deeper game experiences as well as publishers’ will to nurture these qualities and share expertise to help developers grow,” said CEO and co-founder Yegor Vaikhanski.
“When our first hybrid title came out in mid-2021, we saw not only our potential to produce and market live ops games, but also an opportunity for future growth by operating these titles on a long term basis.”
“It is harder to launch a successful hypercasual title today, compared to 2021, as it requires advanced product analytics tools, marketing expertise and simply better quality games overall. Ad monetisation is not going anywhere anytime soon, but evolving market conditions require developers and publishers to adapt and improve fast.”
The company’s future releases will have deeper gameplay, live ops, and a mix of revenue streams, namely ad-based monetisation and in-app purchases.
Is hypercasual in trouble?
Hypercasual titles have traditionally been at the top of the game in terms of mobile downloads, however they have struggled to translate the high number of installs into long-term engagement in some markets.
Notably, SayGames isn’t the only major name in the hypercasual market shifting away from its roots: Voodoo Games head of publishing Alex Shea boldly stated that “hypercasual is dead” at his keynote speech at Pocket Gamer Connects London, noting that the company’s top performing hypercasual games of 2022 were existing titles, as opposed to new releases. Likewise, Sunday managing director Christoph Saschenhausen stated that it’s becoming harder for hypercasual games to succeed.
Is hypercasual dead? Not exactly. The genre led the way in terms of downloads last year, showcasing its resilience once again. However, with some of its leading names seemingly hybridising their approach with increasing regularity, hypercasual is adapting to move with the times and demands of its audience.
We listed Voodoo as one of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.