Hyper casual games are a big market right now. They make up around 50% of all the games downloaded on mobile platforms and sound like they will only grow in the future.
It’s a huge market and many people jump on the chance to make a quick hyper casual game that will make them rich.
Before you jump into the action too, though, you need to understand all of the statistics. While these kinds of games can make you a lot of money, you can also lose out on quite a bit. Maybe not as much as with a more traditional mobile game, but a loss is still a loss.
Read about the statistics of hyper casual games below and see if you’re willing to take the risk to make a game, or if you’re more happy to just play them.
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How Much Do Hyper Casual Games Make?
There is no set amount to how much casual games make. However, it has been steadily increasing in the last few years. From 2017 to 2021, the number of hyper casual games installed has increased by 40%. With the extra installs also comes more money.
Though hyper casual games started in 2013, thanks to Flappy Bird, they didn’t branch out until 2017. This is when subgenres of hyper casual games including ASMR, idle, and organization started to emerge.
The entire hyper casual market makes about 2.5 billion dollars in revenue a year with around 17 billion installs. A fair amount of these installs, about 1.8 billion or 10.5%, come from the United States alone.
Hyper Casual Games Monetization
Most monetization comes from ads. These may be interstitial ads that randomly take up the whole screen for a select period of time, banner ads, small intrusive ads that sit at the top or bottom of the screen the whole game, or rewarded video ads, where players can choose to watch an ad to get some sort of reward.
Some companies have even started playing ads instead of background music on their games.
In-app purchases are another way to get money. While ads tend to make up the most reliable source of money, in-app purchases provide some as well. These in-app purchases, if done right, may also entice gamers to stay with one game for longer than normal due to premium options.
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In-app purchases can be something simple like skins or different characters. However, the most common forms are VIP subscriptions and the option to remove ads.
VIP subscriptions often offer premium benefits, such as receiving extra rewards during a game season, getting extra currency, or even access to premium weapons and characters.
These are also often known as microtransactions. You may have several purchases that are 30 to 100 dollars, but there are just as many that are under three dollars.
“Remove ads” offers are a little more obvious. These may come in the form of a single purchase or a subscription. This provides users with a more enjoyable experience, while still generating the money game creators need or want. Additionally, this doesn’t remove all ads.
It still gives users the option to watch ads in return for extra benefits like lives, extra chances at a level, or a few bonus rewards. However, it does eliminate the more intrusive ads, especially the interstitial ones, at least for a while.
Most players don’t mind opt-in ads, or even banner ads all that much as long as they don’t take up too much space. It’s generally the interstitial ads that detract from gameplay, that tend to be the most frustrating and make users delete or stop playing the game.
It’s a struggle to find the balance between putting the right number of ads to earn money without losing users. According to the chart below, it seems that the best number of ads to get the most revenue a month is two to three per minute. Keep in mind that this includes all types of ads, including opt-in.
Of course, there’s the option to get revenue from people even before they open the game. If you require a purchase to install the game, then you can increase your revenue per person.
This does limit the number of users you get, so it’s a fine line to balance. This is a good option for the second game you’ve made, if the first was successful, or for games from bigger companies that users will know and trust.
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Market Size For Hyper Casual Games
The casual, hyper casual, and recently the hybrid casual games market is large and is only growing. In 2021, the hyper casual gaming market size was around 15.6 billion dollars in 2021 and is expected to grow up to 24.7 billion dollars in 2027. This is a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.96%.
Every year, the number of mobile games (of all kinds) downloaded, and the amount of money spent on these mobile games increases.
In 2018, there were around 63.71 billion downloads and $73.79 billion spent on mobile games. In 2021, that went up to 82.98 billion downloads and $116.01 billion spent.
Additionally, there are ways to play mobile games on the computer, thanks to mobile gaming platforms for Windows and Mac like Bluestacks. These applications allow people to get the benefits from mobile apps on their computers with ease.
This way, people don’t have to deal with battery life, and they can play games even when they aren’t supposed to have their phones around, like when at work or school.
This further increases the number of downloads and therefore the amount of revenue for each hyper casual game.
Hyper casual games are a huge part of the industry. They accounted for roughly half of the total games downloaded in 2021 and a third of the top 100 games downloaded around the world There was a slight dip in 2022, but it is still considered the most popular gaming genre.
Despite that slight dip, the genre is only expected to increase in the next five years or so.
Hyper Casual Games Revenue
Unfortunately, it’s hard to say how much an individual game makes or will make. Since the demand for hyper casual games has increased, the market is oversaturated, and most ideas have already been made. This makes it a little harder to get a game noticed.
Some hit hyper casual games can make as much as $10 million in profits.
It’s also interesting to note that most of the time, your money doesn’t come from dedicated users, but from a lot of users. In general, the average revenue per user is around 0.30 to 0.70 cents. This means that one person downloading your game only makes you about $3.6 to $8.4 a year.
Check out the difference between Hyper Casual Games and Casual Games in this article.
However, when you get millions of installs, this number increases quite dramatically. In the lifetime of a game, you could see $700,000 quite easily. As the table below shows, the top 10% of hyper casual games tend to get around 0.30 cents per user, while the bottom 25% only get 0.06 or 0.07 cents per user.
Of course, you have to then compare the amount you make per user to the cost per install you’re paying. In the US, the cost was as high as 0.63 cents per install. This means, if you were in the bottom 25% of hyper casual games, you could be losing as much as 0.56 cents per install.
Every year, the average ARPU per user increases. In some places, it’s as high as 0.30 cents on average.
It’s important, and difficult to find a balance between making an expensive game that people will actually want to play, and having a low enough CPI that you and your team make money instead of losing money.
This is one of the reasons why hyper casual games are so saturated. It tends to cost a lot less to make a hyper casual game than a standard mobile game. The difference is usually thousands of dollars, even with advertising.
This means that even if your hyper casual game fails, you’re only losing a couple hundred to a couple of thousand dollars instead of $30 to $60 thousand. Some statistics say that if you have $50,000, you can make around 20 to 40 hyper casual games. Out of these, at least one will likely be somewhat successful.
Most of this revenue comes from advertising. When hyper casual games first came out, in-app purchases created most of the revenue for users. However, over time, advertising has begun to increase. Currently, they are about tied, but it’s expected that while both will continue increasing, advertising will take the lead by 2027.
Though ad revenue is set to be the highest form of revenue, it’s important to not forget in-app purchases. They still play an important role when it comes to making a profit from your hyper casual mobile game.
Additionally, you want to look at the stores that hyper casual mobile games are published on. The two major markets are Android via Google Play and iOS via the Apple App Store. Google Play has and is expected to continue dominating the market for mobile games and revenue from said games.
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However, numbers suggest it’s easier to get more money from users on the iOS store. Most professionals recommend starting out on Google Play. Then, you can follow behind by putting the game on the Apple App Store.
The percentage of revenue earned from hyper casual games on the iOS and Google Play Store in past and future years from Juicy-Publishing.com
Hyper Casual Games Retention
Sessions per user per day for hyper casual and non-hyper casual games from Udonis.co
Hyper casual games don’t have a lot of retention. Not only are they used less per day, but users also spend less time on these games than they would non-hyper casual games. This is why it’s important to cram a lot of ad revenue into just a minute or two.
Additionally, users will only visit the game once or twice a day on average, so you are getting somewhere between two and a half minutes to five minutes from every user a day, and it’s important to make the most of that with ad revenue. You have to be able to do so without chasing away your users.
As you can see from the chart above, the retention rate drops pretty hard when there are over four ads a minute. The best retention rates are when there are around two to three ads a minute.
While ads are the most common determining factor for retention, it’s not the only reason. The initial retention rates for hyper casual games and midcore games tend to be the same, around 30% for both on the first day.
After that, between day 2 and day 7, the rates change. Midcore games tend to keep a retention rate of 13.7% while hyper casual games only hold 8.7%. This is due to the complexity of the game. Hyper casual games tend to have a simple plot structure and less to do, so the retention rate drops.
Generally, after thirty days, the retention rate gap shrinks back to being about equal for both hyper casual and midcore games, with the retention rate being less than 1%.
Hyper Casual Games Target Audience
Hyper casual games don’t have a target audience. Or, to be more accurate, the target audience is so broad that it encompasses everyone. For most hyper casual games, the game mechanic tends to be simple.
It doesn’t take much strategy, planning, or concentration to play. Many of them focus on gathering attention through fun sounds or colors.
For this reason, it makes it so that anyone, from a young child to the elderly can play these games. Since you don’t have to spend much time on them a day, and there’s little to no plot, they also work for those that have a busy work schedule or short attention span.
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These games target people needing a quick distraction, such as when they’re on a plane, waiting in line, or just a few minutes of break before heading out to their next task.
These games don’t lead to as much stress because they don’t require someone to log on every day and people don’t have to spend a long time on them to get all the achievements or daily rewards.
However, as you can see, most of the people using entertainment apps, such as games, movies, and social media tend to be the Gen Z age group, though all generations use them a fair amount.
It’s also a good idea to understand gender dynamics. While games are thought of as being male-dominated, hyper casual games actually tend to have a higher female user base than male.
If you want to select a specific target audience, it’s a good idea to figure out what type of hyper casual game they prefer. Hyper casual gaming is a broad category, with many different types of games that fall underneath it.
|Game Type||Basic Game Mechanics||Popular Game in this Type|
|Puzzle||Usually involves simple mechanics to solve a puzzle, like aiming or swiping. |
The puzzles generally start simple, and may grow in difficulty, but should take overall less than a couple of minutes to solve.
The puzzles are generally colorful with a lot of movement when pieces are solved, like bubbles bursting or numbers popping up over the screen.
|7squared by Hyper Mode Games|
|Agility||Agility games are usually running games that rely on the user having fairly good hand-eye coordination. |
Generally, the user has to move or swipe to avoid obstacles while also attempting to collect coins or prizes.
Like with puzzle games, the difficulty and reliance on hand-eye coordination increase with every level.
|Jelly Shift by SayGames|
|Swerve||With swerve mechanics, players are on a path where they have to avoid obstacles and incoming hazards. |
Usually, the game requires a lot of focus and perfectly timed movements.
|Flappy Bird by Gears|
|Timing||Timing games give the player a clock to compete against. They have to complete some sort of challenge in the allotted time. |
Usually, this is a category that is used with others on the list, such as the puzzle or agility, but it doesn’t have to be.
|Fun Race 3D by Good Job Games|
|Action||Action hyper casual games require the user to run on some sort of track. Often, the goal is to catch up or escape from someone. |
There are obstacles in the way that will slow the user down but also boosts to help them get ahead. Often there are coins or some sort of currency to collect so that power-ups can be bought later.
|Crazy Fast Runner by Small Beautiful|
|Stacking||Stacking games involve objects moving horizontally across the top of the screen or objects falling from the top of the screen. Players then have to maneuver the objects before they touch the tower so that they are in the right place. |
The goal is to make as tall of a tower as possible. They may compete against their previous towers or other players.
|The Tower by Ketchapp|
|Rise/Fall||Gravity-based games. An object is either falling or rising and the user is in charge of making sure they go as far as possible. |
This works by either the user controlling the object or the surroundings.
|Helix Jump by VooDoo|
|Merging||With this game mechanic, the user tries to find items that are the same and merge them. |
Sometimes they merge them to get rid of them, and other times, they merge them to get better and more improved objects that might make the game easier or are in demand by some sort of client in the game.
|Sheep Fight by Hago|
|Growing||This is a classic game that draws people of all ages in thanks to its classic nature. It involves some object ‘eating’ other, smaller objects to grow bigger. This may be a snake eating dots on the screen, or a large fish eating smaller fish. |
The goal may be to get the creature as big as possible without hitting an object, including itself, or to just be the biggest animal at the end.
|Slither.io by Lowtech Studios|
You can also look at the most downloaded and popular games at the moment when you’re considering creating your game. This can give you an idea of the style of games that are in high demand.