The market for hyper casual video games is expanding and evolving. Traditional hyper casual games appeal to gamers because of their simplicity. They focus on a single, straightforward gameplay loop & controls that require only a tap or swipe.
In 2021, hyper casual games had the most number of downloads of any genre: a 46 percent rise from the previous year. Yet, as the market evolves and the choice for gamers increases, developers are constantly on the lookout for novel approaches to boost user retention, engagement, & profitability. Something beyond hypercasual. Hybrid-casual games provide them that opportunity.
Hybrid-casual gaming is a novel approach to gaming which combines elements from both casual and mid-level titles to create an immersive experience for players. Many of Meta’s hypercasual business partners are transitioning to hybrid-casual mode.
Developers are drawn to the genre because of its broad appeal, accessible gameplay, and potential for monetization on par with hypercasual and midcore titles. Let’s delve in detail into hyper-casual gaming, the new and exciting factor in the gaming industry.
The term “hybrid-casual” refers to a newer subgenre of mobile games. It combines the accessibility of hypercasual gaming with the depth of progression algorithms that attract mid-core players. Different components of hypercasual, like design and manufacturing, additional gaming content, balanced monetization practices, and live operation activities, are combined to form hybrid-casual games.
Each hybrid-casual title expands upon a hyper-casual foundation in order to increase player retention and monetization.
Here is a summary of the things involved:
It’s not uncommon for hybrid-casual games to have a core that is either casual or hybrid-casual. You can pick up the fundamentals of a hyper-casual or arcade game in a matter of minutes. The controls must be so intuitive that a walkthrough is unnecessary. However, in order to maintain user interest, it should be challenging to master.
An informal foundation is rather typical. Match-three puzzles are one such example. The core is a little more involved than in a hyper-casual system, but it’s still simple to pick up.
The power progression & dynamic metagame expand upon the game’s basic mechanics. The purpose of these meta layers is to instill a sense of intrinsic desire which will last. Additionally, they serve as the backbone upon which live services as well as other features can be built.
Having a way to earn money while playing is a huge boon to a player’s ability to level up quickly and easily. Baseline revenue is generated from advertising and in-app purchases, with conversions increased by the sale of bundles & battle passes.
Live ops and other elements of the game, such as events, social features, & updates, help to keep the game fresh and exciting. These features will ensure that the players keep playing and come back for more.
For instance, leaderboards are a great method for players to keep tabs on and compare the achievements of their peers. Different events are available for players to take part in, each of which has its own unique set of temporary obstacles. Updates can breathe new life into the game as a whole and have a dramatic effect on player retention.
We know that the best hybrid-casual games share their basic mechanics with casual or hyper-casual titles. It’s possible that enhanced interest and loyalty will come as a result of this shift. Thus, the trend toward hybrid-casual will continue. This, however, will not diminish the appeal of the hyper-casual style, and the two will most likely coexist.
For example, a casual core could be based on a traditional merge or match-3 puzzle. Games like Homescapes & Project Makeover are great examples of what are known as “casual core” games. Both games have a casual match-3 puzzle at its foundation, with additional levels for design, decorating, and story.
Among the many optional meta-layers added to casual games, collection systems are highly favored. Cards/stickers, heroes/characters, skins, resources, and in-game milestones are all examples of what players can gather in this type of system.
The past several years have seen an explosion in the use of collection systems in video games. Also, when you look at the top 100 games in terms of revenue, the use of collectible albums increased from 20% to 70%!
Including a story and a unique theme in your game is a great approach to keep people interested for the long haul. An epic plot, in which the player plays a pivotal role, can be very engaging.
The beauty of a meta-narrative layer is that it may be interpreted in a variety of ways while still fitting in with the game’s overarching concept.
Lily’s Garden is a fantastic example of a hybrid-casual game with a compelling plot. This game’s narrative metalayer is one of numerous casual “cores” (match-3 puzzles) and “metalayers.” Storylines filled with romance, treachery, drama, and scandals aimed at female audiences are what make this genre so appealing.
As an added bonus, this game perfectly exemplifies how meta layers can provide additional avenues for advertising. All of the advertising for Lily’s Garden centers around the game’s story, and they’ve been a huge success.
Another common factor in casual games is a meta layer focused on design, allowing players some degree of freedom to spruce up their virtual environments.
Players driven by individualistic tendencies will find a lot to love here. They are more able to exhibit their individuality and creativity when they have the option to personalize or design.
For instance, Magic Tavern’s Matchington Mansion is a great example. The game’s mechanics are based on a match-3 puzzle. Players are responsible for restoring and decorating a mansion in addition to resolving puzzles.
When it comes to making money, in-app advertisements have always been the go-to for casual & hyper-casual games alike. Since players’ attention spans and the length of the game were limited, it was important to generate revenue from them as rapidly as possible.
On the other hand, the expansion of casual games’ meta layers has led to a rise in the number of available in-app purchases. Often, the best results are achieved by combining the two models. A hybrid monetization approach combines traditional advertising with alternative means of making money within an app.
Google found that 33% of hybrid-genre gamers viewed rewarded adverts in exchange for extra lives, and 28% made in-app purchases to gain access to rare things. Hybrid-casual games can easily be monetized through advertisements, but in-app purchases present more of a challenge.
What, therefore, is the best way to implement an IAP/in app purchase model in your game so that it encourages players to really part with their money?
To begin, let’s state that there is no failsafe method for developing an in-app purchase (IAP) model for a hybrid-casual game, and any game for such matter. Core concepts, meta-levels, and target audiences all necessitate distinct strategies.
Keeping this in mind, below are some guidelines that could be useful.
If we’re talking about a real hyper-casual experience, the controls must be so intuitive that gamers can pick things up in a matter of seconds. The same holds true for the game’s first-time user experience for the gamers.
Because of this, a large number of people enjoy playing hybrid-casual games. The game’s rules should be simple to pick up but challenging to master.
The basic gameplay should be easy to grasp. But to be interesting, it needs to command your undivided attention. Simply said, the objective is to strike a middle ground between ease of use and expert execution.
Having the ability to drive interest is essential to a hyper-casual core. Facebook Gaming recommends that games have clear win/fail conditions and measurable progress, and that the feedback loop be related to players’ skills.
The power progression system is a stat-based progression system that rewards players for investing both time and money into the game. It’s a component in role-playing games that can take many shapes. Its intended use is to improve the gameplay experience overall. Therefore, increasing power should be the foundation of the metagame. This raises the lifetime value of the gamer by maintaining their interest and motivation over time.
For games with In App Purchases, building monetization solutions must consider the fact that certain players will spend deeply and repeatedly. But, there are certain elements of foundation which you can incorporate. These include factors like progression vectors and a balanced game economy.
Creating a well-designed and balanced economy is the basis on which IAP monetization is built for a hybrid-casual game. Two major concepts for publishers to leverage for IAP are: sinks and taps. Tap is that point from where a resource is provided. This can happen either through a game mechanic or from an IAP. Sink is that place where resources like these are spent. Finding the optimum rate at which sinks and taps supply removes resources is crucial for secure monetization. Developers seek to create the optimum levels of supply. This is because the players can get concerned about scarcity and this could create a greater demand for resources.
The publishers of hybrid-casual games are retreating from demanding players to upgrade their skills in order to make progress. But they are designing mechanics which enable progression. An important reason why players engage with a game and keep going is: Progression Vectors. They are crucial in the long run. There are many versions of progression vectors. Most games provide at least one. These progression vectors can be a vital motivation for spending by players.
Many studios are shifting their focus to hybrid-casual games so that they can appeal to a broader audience than traditional casual games while still maintaining the depth and replayability of midcore titles.
As such, the transition to hybrid-casual gaming necessitates the creation of hybrid-casual games. The evolution will entail better and long engagement will be possible owing to the technical capabilities of hybrid-casual games. This will certainly not make hypercasual games extinct, but will retail the popularity of both. The evolution to hybrid-casual games is fundamental.
In the future, ever more companies will likely adopt hybrid casual games, as studies have shown that this style of the game significantly increases player involvement and stickiness. You can choose Juego Studios, the best mobile game development company to create wildly popular hybrid casual games and grow your business. Go through the Game Development Services portfolio of Juego Studios to understand their prowess.
Juego Studios long and ever expanding clientele includes even Fortune 500 companies. If you are seeking creative solutions in game development, then consider Juego Studios who swear by imaginative solutions and customer satisfaction. Submit your queries or requirements here and receive a quick response from Juego Studios.