Marketing for hypercasual games needs its own advertising strategy

In the game industry alone, 51% of revenue comes from mobile games, and hypercasual games are estimated to reach $ 2.5 billion by 2021. This “small but powerful” game is taking the world by storm. In recent years. Based on the development trend of each game type, it can be seen that hypercasual games are a type of niche market that needs to be promoted separately, not according to standards.

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The difference of hypercasual games

Installs of hypercasual games increased 66% in 2020, as noted by Adjust in its 2021 App Trends Report. At the same time, installs of non-hypercasual games grew only 26%. However, the number of installs is not enough to show the full picture. Users spend 42% more time playing casual games than hypercasual games. From the second half of 2020 to the first half of 2021, the number of installs and sessions of hypercasual games increased by 109% and 34% respectively.

In general, game apps typically record longer session lengths than other apps. This is understandable because games are entertainment applications, unlike banking and payment applications – users only need to use the application for a few minutes to get the job done. The number of sessions for hypercasual games increased by 36%, while the number of sessions for non-hypercasual games increased by 27% in 2020. Despite the sharp increase in session length, hypercasual games only hovered around 18.78 minutes, while casual games and sports games recorded 21.19 and 22.77 minutes, respectively.

Considering the time spent in-app, the path of the graph is not much different. The average data of the whole gaming industry is higher than that of other industries, the time used in the fourth quarter of 2020 on 0, 1, 3, 7 and 30 is 24, 53, 48, 47 and 45 minutes, respectively. However, the hypercasual game is a surprising case, when the numbers drop dramatically. Q4 data shows that app usage time on day 0 was eight minutes, then 15 minutes the next day. By day 7, app usage time dropped to nine minutes, and day 30 to seven minutes.

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Hypercasual game from the perspective of data

Hypercasual games are often known as the segment with low retention rates. After analyzing Q4 2020 data, Adjust found that the segment with the highest retention rate on day 1 was games (30%), followed by hypercasual games (27%). However, only 7.5% of people continued to play the game on day 7 (compared to the 15.2% average for all industries) and only 1.75% of people were still logged into the game on day 30. .

Hypercasual games only have low user retention, partly because of the simple gameplay mechanics and because of the “snowball effect” – i.e. publishers often direct users to play other games in the same category. Therefore, marketers for hypercasual games usually don’t care too much about improving retention rates — instead, focus on improving monetization models, to quickly generate revenue from users, and then convince persuade them to play another game.

This is also the reason that the number of partners for hypercasual games far exceeds that of other applications in the segment — even more than other types of games. Across all app segments on average, each app works with about five partners, growing to six in Q4 2020. The gaming segment was impressively above average with seven partners, but Hypercasual game is also exceptionally high, nine partners. (Side tip: Try finding more partners if you haven’t taken this approach yet.)

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Hypercasual games must maximize revenue from users in the first two days (from the time the user downloads the application), because the retention rate will drop very quickly from the third day. This goal should come first because the ratio of paid: organic installs in hypercasual games is the highest in the market (3.17 in Q4). This result is not really bad. Since the cost to get an install is very low, casual games will try to attract as many players as possible, in as little time as possible. In addition, during these first two days, casual games also used cross-promotion to direct users to play other games in the same company’s category (which is also why The App Tracking Transparency feature on iOS 14.5 recorded a very high game app opt-in rate — indicating that players love to find new games through ads.)

The ratio of paid installs: organic installs in the rest of the games stood at only 0.69 (in the same quarter).

As such, when you pay high fees to attract new users, you must achieve high revenue from users. Hypercasual games are different from most games — not only in terms of cost, but also in monetization strategies. So what information do marketers need?

Make money fast from hypercasual games

Since it’s free, hypercasual games often make money through advertising. The fastest way to success with this model is to use personalized advertising. We often design ads of this type based on products or mentioning the user’s name. But in the world of hypercasual games, marketers need to personalize advertising in a different direction. Especially when iOS 14.5 has just been released and users are increasingly concerned about privacy.

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You can experiment with how far apart the ads should be displayed — keep in mind that hypercasual gamers are used to seeing ads and don’t find it too annoying to see them constantly. You can show more ads than gameplay in the same minute without disrupting user focus and generate revenue. However, this approach still has certain limitations. Our research shows that, if hypercasual games show more than four ads per minute, revenue will hit a ceiling of $35,000. That would ideally be around two to three ads per minute, allowing hypercasual game publishers to increase revenue by up to 10%. (Interestingly, with the new privacy regulations, hypercasual games have an even greater advantage, because in the current situation of limited access to IDFA, many apps are unable to provide targeted advertising, thereby forced to increase the number of ads to be able to make up for the lost revenue.)

Marketers can switch to new ad formats, like video ads, interstitial ads or native ads, depending on user preferences. If users prefer watching video ads to interstitial ads, then you shouldn’t waste your time on this underperforming ad format. If you’re looking to increase the number of rewarded ads, you can try different types of rewards to determine what users prefer.

Making money from free games requires marketers to make constant efforts to balance many sides, especially with hypercasual games, which are both boring and boring. But publishers of hypercasual games can see this as an advantage, by implementing cross-promotion to direct users to play other games in the category, hitting the right user’s preference for conquering new challenges. When users are willing to watch ads to find new games, hypercasual games can make money more easily.

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