Hyper-Casual Games 101: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Players

We’re rapidly witnessing changing trends with hyper-casual games, as well as seeing regular new titles fighting for top positions on the app store. With this in mind, relying on tired marketing strategies or an ill-informed idea that free-to-play titles don’t need a marketing budget won’t do you any favors.

When monetizing your hyper-casual game, you’ll want to focus on getting as many people playing as quickly as possible, but also make sure they come back. Usually, if a hyper-casual game has less than 40% day 1 retention, big publishers will cut their losses and say “Next!”.

So, when you make that amazing hyper-casual game with great next day retention, how can you make sure you get the most out of your players?

How hyper-casual games differ

Unlike mid and hard-core game titles that rely on in-app purchases and user loyalty to monetize their players, hyper-casual games gain returns through in-app advertisements and high volumes of downloads.

This means developers are not forced to alter the actual structure of their games with various opportunities. Although they still can include IAP in their game (for example, extra lives, additional coins, skins etc), they don’t necessarily need to monetize their user activity through purchases.

Hyper-casual game developers can instead focus on accessible, simple and lightweight platforms that attract large numbers of casual gamers. Whether those gamers have five minutes or two hours to spare.

The big picture isn’t to secure loyal players with high Lifetime Value (LTV). To be successful with your hyper-casual title, you’ll need to tailor your marketing and ad optimization strategy to its typically low retention rates and engagement loops.

Essentially, you need to attract high volumes of players to download your game to give you the best chance of monetizing your platform through in-app advertisements.

Cross promoting — why it’s important

As hyper-casual games require large numbers of new users to generate revenue, finding ways to increase traffic by any means possible is essential.

‘But why would I promote someone else’s game in mine? That’s ridiculous’

And you’d think you would be right to have this mindset. However, cross-promotion plays a huge role in sustaining the genre’s ecosystem, as titles share gamer traffic in an equally beneficial trade. The beauty of an effective cross-promotion campaign is it allows you to tap into existing pockets of players.

The hyper-casual genre is unique from other formats. It doesn’t encourage gamers to loyally prioritize certain titles over others, as is the case with mid-core and hard-core games.

While there is still competition amongst publishers and developers for market share, it is common for users to play several different titles at the same time — depending on their mood. Therefore, the impact of redirecting users away from your game won’t damage your title’s traffic (or that of your cross-promotional partner).

Accessing a cross-promotion community can allow you to expand beyond your user-base, and trade gamers with other platforms to create a positive promotion cycle. The trick is to find communities that share similar audience segments to yours and start a relationship.

One of the simplest and most popular methods of cross-promotion is interstitial ads or app trailers. A short and engaging snippet featured during an intermittent stage in a gamer’s user journey is an effective way to bring exposure to your hyper-casual title.

You could also be creative and offer in-app rewards to users who download your title. From gold coins to virtual goods, entice gamers to migrate to your platform with added perks.

Choose the right advertising tools

One of the most important aspects of marketing your mobile game is, of course, choosing the right distribution networks and advertising tools to maximise your game’s exposure.

Some of the most popular advertising platforms at the moment are AdMob, Tapjoy and Mintegral — whether you’re focusing on one or several of these, it’s worth doing your research to find the most suitable tool for your title.

In order to get the most out of your hyper-casual game, you’re going to need to promote your title across the best mobile app channels and digital pathways. Consider who you are targeting and choose partners who will help you reach this demographic.

To read on, check out the full story here.

Here’s everything you need to take your mobile game to the next level.