How to Create a Low CPI Hyper Casual Video

Achieving a Low CPI for your Hyper Casual Game will be the difference between a publishing deal or not. When making prototypes it’s often easy to forget that we’re actually really making video’s to test marketability. 

In this video, I sat down with Jake Parker, senior publishing manager at Kwalee and we break apart Count Masters: Crowd Runner 3D from Tap2Play LLC.

We discuss what goes into making a great CPI Hyper Casual video, what to consider and avoid and Jake shares some great tips on aspects to think about when making yours.


Hyper Casual Games – What is CPI? ( Cost Per Install )

The ultimate goal for any Hyper Casual Games Developer and Publisher is to get the lowest CPI ( Cost Per Install ) as possible. This means how many installs for your game can you get for the lowest amount spent when advertising.

Here’s a CPI Example:

You spend $100 on Advertising your Game.
You have 100 people install your Game from the Advert.
Your CPI would be $1 .

$100 ÷ 100 Installs = $1.00 CPI ( Cost Per Install )

What is a CPI Test for Hyper Casual Games?

All the major Hyper Casual Publishers will run a CPI test when you pitch them  your game. You will be expected to supply them with at least one 15-30 second video for your game.

Your cost-per-install, or CPI test campaign, will then be used to calculate how much they, or you, have to pay for every user that installs your game from your video ad just like in the equation above.

Your Video will be typically shown to general audiences on Facebook or TikTok and the calculations will last around 3-7 days or when the funds are exhausted. The publishers will know pretty quick if you’re on to something or not from the initial results.

What are the Basics for CPI Hyper Casual Videos?

The golden and most important rule when creating your CPI Hyper Casual video is to capture the viewers attention in the first 3-5 seconds.

Your game needs to be instantly “understandable” meaning it should be crystal clear what your game is about, how to play it and what the “Win” and “Lose” states are.

Think of this, for anyone viewing your video, can they immediately understand the rules of your game and how to play it?

This is key to the success of a Hyper Casual CPI Video.

Generally speaking, a CPI of $0.30 or lower will get the publishers super excited and your game has a high chance of becoming a hit.

Of course, there are other KPI’s ( Key performance indicators ) such as retention, play time and CTR ( Click through Rate ) amongst many others that, in part, all make up the numbers formula needed to have a unicorn hit.

Hyper Casual Games – Tips & Tricks for Low CPI

Here’s some things to consider when creating your CPI Videos.

  • Keep it simple & ensure the video reflects your gameplay correctly.
  • Keep the colours bright, vibrant & eye catching.
  • Remove anything that distracts from the Core Gameplay Loop.
  • Consider a “Fail State” to emphasise the rules early on.
  • Showcase your best stuff! Even create unique levels just for the CPI video.
  • Try different camera angles to stand out from other similar games.
  • Remove any UI unless essential to the game play
  • Include any satisfying elements or animations that enhance your game.

Your games CPI is arguably the most important metric in hyper casual games and without a competitive number from the offset, it’s likely your game will go no further in the process and will be resigned to your prototype folder.

It’s a harsh but true reality and a real deal breaker with most publishers. If they are unable to acquire players at a profitable rate, enough to scale your game through UA ( UA = User Acquisition – which is paid advertising ) it is time to move on to your next prototype and this is why your CPI Hyper Casual Video is paramount to your games future.

Here’s the game we discuss this week

Become the master by gathering your crowd and leading them through numbered gates. Simply swerve left or right to select the highest value gate to multiply your crowd. Avoid the various obstacles in your path and crush the opposition as you make the right choices.

About Kwalee

Led by David Darling CBE, a leading figure in the UK gaming industry and co-founder of Codemasters, Kwalee was founded back in 2011.

With offices around the world, Kwalee began life in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire UK. They now have offices in Bangalore, India and Beijing, China.

Boasting talented game industry veterans such as Andrew Graham (creator of Micro Machines) and Jason Falcus (programmer of classics including NBA Jam) their team of mobile gaming experts has expanded rapidly in the past year.

The company name Kwalee originated from an Australian Aboriginal word that means ‘wait for me’.

This is a homage to David’s grandfather who taught him electronics and who also had a sailboat with the same name.

Kwalee - Hyper Casual Publishers
Kwalee Ltd - Hyper Casual Publisher

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