As mobile phones have become more integrated into our daily lives, we have found use-cases for them to fill gaps in our schedule with productivity or entertainment—the choice is yours. You can use your phone to check your calendar for details about your next meeting or escape to a land where everything is bejeweled and candy is ripe for crushing.
Bejewelled and Candy Crush are examples of wildly popular hyper-casual games that have entertained millions of people for hours. This begs the obvious question, what is a hyper-casual game?
What is a Hyper-Casual Game?
Hyper-casual games are easy to learn, play, and stop without losing gameplay progress. Today’s hyper-casual games are typically single-player and can be played within a few minutes or a few hours, all depending on the user.
Consider a real-world example of a hyper-casual gamer who is looking for some entertainment on her subway commute home from work. She downloads a new mobile game on the app store and quickly picks up how to play.
As she is navigating the current level engulfed in gameplay, she almost misses her stop. She quickly closes her phone, grabs her bag, and makes it off the train in time. The next time she has a break, no matter how short, she will be able to pick back up where she left off, without being set back any levels.
As you can see, hyper-casual games have been engineered for those short interval breaks but can be played for hours (as many people would rather not confess). Although this gaming format has exploded in popularity among the demographics that would otherwise never play video games, the jury is still out in the gaming community of whether or not they are really gamers.
A Brief History of Hyper-Casual Games
Hyper-casual games really got their start from some of the first video games ever created. Pong, one of the most popular video games of all time, officially released in 1972, was a two-player game that simulated ping pong, or table tennis. Today, if you were to search for Pong on the App Store, you would find it under the guise of various names and formats.
Other classic games have inspired the hyper-casual genre revolution, including Tetris, PacMan, and Space Invaders, to name a few. All of these games can be played by a single player and today have been cloned or recreated to address the hyper-casual gamer. These games can take on gameplay mechanics including swerve, puzzle, agility, merge, timing, and more.
Today, mobile gaming is a billion-dollar business. There are more than 2.2 billion mobile gamers globally, with 203 million in the United States. The most interesting mobile gaming statistic that validates the hyper-casual gaming model is that the average person plays for 23 minutes per day, which is why the gameplay must not be a large time investment.
To learn more about hyper-casual games and how they make money, check out this animated infographic from CleverTap.
This post was written by Drew Page. He is a content marketing specialist from San Diego, where he helps create epic content for companies like CleverTap. He loves learning, writing and playing music. When not surfing the web, you can find him actually surfing, in the kitchen or in a book.