Hyper-Casual Games

What are hyper-casual games? 

Hyper-casual games are characterized by lightweight, instantly playable games that players revisit often because of short session length and fun game mechanics. Hyper-casual games usually focus around a single core mechanic, like parking a car or dunking a basketball, but are still challenging to players and have universal appeal. In short, hyper-casual games are easy to pick up but difficult to master, encouraging players to come back. 

The genre is known for its snackable content, which players can enjoy in short spurts like while waiting in line or on a commute and are a revival of the simple arcade games of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Unlike other game genres, hyper-casual games have an increased ability to go viral and scale quickly.

Recently, hyper-casual games have seen massive success, often climbing to the top of the free games charts in app stores. The short and compelling gameplay of hyper-casual games makes them more likely to go viral, and its advertising-focused monetization model allows them to have broad appeal.

Most hyper-casual games are monetized via a mix of video, playable, banner, and interstitial ads. Some also include in-app purchases to unlock in-game items or provide players an option to go ad-free. Since hyper-casual games are more likely to go viral, developers of these games often focus on user acquisition to gain more players and are less concerned about player retention. Developers of mid-core and hardcore games employ the opposite tactic, focusing on retaining a group of dedicated players, rather than spending massive amounts of money on acquiring new players.

Learn more about how developers are staying competitive in the hyper-casual genre or check out the AppLovin blog.

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