Hyper Casual Games & Retention

026: Hyper Casual Games – Retention, Mobile Publishers and the Domination of Hyper Casual Mobile Games.

Game Dev Podcast - 026 - Hyper Casual Games & Retention

It’s certainly official, Hyper Casual games are dominating the App Store Top Charts.

In early 2017, we saw the rise of Hyper Casual games going main stream with publishers like Voodoo.io leading the way with their smash hit paper.io.

Apple recognised the genre in their 2017 roundup by including the Hyper-Casual Trend in gaming.

Apple 2017 Trends of the Year

Apple Trends 2017 - Hyper Casual Games


These usually lightweight games, consisting of nothing much more than an addictive core loop on launch, are typically a few steps ahead of a MVP ( minimal viable product ) or prototype. Mostly monetising through Ads rather than IAP’s, it’s unlikely you’ll see many of these games in the top grossing ranks, or indeed often even the publishers are not recognised as top performers as those charts are traditionally curated through platform revenue, but this is super big business.

Pushed heavily via social media / influencer campaigns ( Snapchat / Instagram / Facebook ) top mobile publishers can achieve extremely low CPI’s ( cost per install ) and thus propelling these simple, small mobile games to the pinnacle of the App Stores with a relatively modest budget.

Because if this, they are highly scalable and massively sharable and can often go viral pretty fast.


Hyper Casual Games

7 out of the Top 11 Free iPhone Games are Hyper Casual as of 30th July 2018.


This really is a Win/Win for both Publishers and Game Developers alike. Publishers can measure retention metrics to see if the game has potential fast and cheap, whilst developers can produce games way faster than normal as these stripped back games generally have little actual content or depth.

As Jilly was sadly unwell today, I stripped out a section of a recent webinar we held talking all about Hyper Casual Games, the retention benchmarks the Top Mobile Publishers are looking for and how, as game developers, we go about tracking this data.

Top Hyper Casual Game Publishers


Lion StudiosLionstudios.cc

Crazy Labs | TabTale – Tabtale.com





Gram GamesGram.gs

Hyper Casual Game Retention Benchmark Metrics

We go way deeper on this subject and deconstruct some of the most successful Hyper Casual Games in our Course “Seriously Snackable” but there’s some real actionable content from the webinar too. I expand on some of the ingredients we need to put into our games to elevate our chances of success.

Whilst in essence this all sounds rather easy and fast, achieving these numbers is super tough. The winners are the games that you generally look at and think “jeez, that’s so simple why didn’t I think of that!”

We’ve yet to try and build a Hyper Casual game ( ours all fit into the Casual genre ) but we’ll soon be on the case and it’s super exciting.

If you want to dive deeper into all this, be sure to check out the Academy where there’s tons of great video content, courses, detailed deconstructions and epic game dev conversations going on.


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Kevin & Jilly RisingHigh Academy