April Tayson, Regional VP INSEA, Adjust

The Hype Behind Hyper Casual Games

By: April Tayson, Regional VP INSEA, Adjust

Anyone paying attention to the mobile marketing ecosystem would find it difficult to miss the rise of hypercasual games. Hypercasual games are easy to play, have a simple user interface, and are easily downloadable for free. With improvements in the internet infrastructure, a rising number of mobile gamers, and an open competitive space, Southeast Asia’s gaming market presents vast growth opportunities. According to a Research and Markets report, the number of mobile online gamers in Southeast Asia will reach 250 million by the end of 2021. As the industry gains more traction in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines, the region will play host to six of the most significant countries for mobile gaming.

Developers have reported a massive surge in the downloads of gaming apps worldwide and data from Adjust’s recent Hyper Casual Gaming Report shows that for Q4 2019 to Q1 2020, installs per mille (IPMs) across all regions have increased significantly. With stay-at-home orders and more time to spare, app installs more than doubled from December 2019 to March 2020, with hypercasual sessions increasing 72%. Hypercasual games have sustained this popularity ever since and now generate between $2 billion and $2.5 billion in annual revenue. With these numbers, the message was loud and clear: hypercasual games are in-demand and can be hugely successful.

 Understanding Hyper Casual Gaming 

In the hypercasual gaming space, fast product development timelines support digital marketing’s data-driven decisions. With the cost of building games dropping, developers are now able to churn out games faster. Additionally, developers can immediately assess which games perform well and use smart budget allocation to maximize the number of users inside the app by going after the lowest cost per install they can find. Once the users are in the app, they show as many ads as possible, which gives their clients the best return on investment (ROI).

Maximizing Investments

Hypercasual games have redefined app marketing, and automation is the driving force behind the genre’s rapid growth.  With hypercasual games, one can get immediate answers to marketers’ constant dilemma about what works and what does not. Through in-app purchases and ad monetization, marketers can drive ROI from hypercasual games.

While developers can easily track the revenue coming in from in-app purchases, as it is directly linked to the user’s profile, tracking revenue from in-app advertisements can be challenging. In-app ads involve various measurement models such as cost per view, cost per click, cost per thousand impressions, cost per action, and cost per install. Moreover, paid in-app campaigns also require a different set of tools and platforms. The set of tools used for web campaigns will not work for mobile in-app advertising.

Getting it Right

One key aspect that can help marketers track ROI from ad campaigns in hypercasual games is to have all the relevant monetization models in a single dashboard. This makes it easier for marketers to monitor a campaign’s performance. Game developers and marketers can leverage the available technologies and solutions in tracking the performance of ads and campaigns. These trackers can also link the apps where the campaigns are being implemented and information about segment users’ interaction with the link. This makes tracking a seamless process, giving complete visibility into a campaign’s performance.

On the social media platform’s front, these solutions are capable of gathering real-time insights from channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Snapchat. This means advertisers can seamlessly track campaigns across these platforms in a unified way without having to create their own trackers. By adopting the right solutions to monitor and measure performance, game developers and marketers can make informed decisions and improve returns on spending.

Unlocking the True Potential of Hyper Casual Gaming  

Given its popularity among gamers, hypercasual gaming will continue to grow as more developers launch mobile games and apps. However, for many game developers, success depends on the app’s scalability and the investments that they can attract.

To help expand the gaming industry, Storms launched the Storm the World Competition 2021. Through this contest, independent mobile game studios and developers from around the world will have the chance to showcase and promote their app to a broader audience. On top of the prize pool, the winning teams will have the opportunity to distribute their game globally through an exclusive publishing contract with Storms.

With these developments, Southeast Asia’s hypercasual gaming industry is poised to take bigger and faster strides in becoming a cost-effective and powerful advertising medium for marketers.

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