The hyper-casual segment is booming. These games target the largest audience possible and are driving a lot of growth in the app stores with developers creating tons of titles that are released at a quicker pace. They are mainly supported by ads (a mix of video, banner, and interstitial ads), as well as some in-app purchases.
The term hyper-casual was coined by Johannes Heinze, from AppLovin, to label games that are “lightweight and instantly playable.” He considers them to be “sort of a revival of simple arcade games from the 70’s and 80’s.” They are free-to-play, easy to download, have short sessions and lack complex engagement loops.
Yet standing out in this highly competitive market comes with marketing hurdles. Janos Perei, CMO at Berlin-based mobile game studio TreasureHunt, spoke about the subject at PGC Helsinki last week. He shared tips on how to successfully market the hyper-casual games genre on 3 pillars: acquisition, engagement and monetization.
First things first, it’s critical to provide a good user experience, otherwise you won’t be able to successfully retain or monetize your players. That being said, you want to build a solid user acquisition strategy. With thousands of releases each day, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to attract players’ attention. In Q1 2018 alone, an average of 6,140 mobile apps were released daily; and that was just through the Google Play Store.
Adopt a data-driven approach
Janos highlighted the importance of investing in paid user acquisition and mastering app discoverability. As paid user acquisition is becoming more expensive, developers should also put into place an efficient app store optimization strategy. It’s a proven way to boost organic installs.
Get creative with finding unique ways to differentiate your game. Be sure that you have a “compelling product that has a proposition, and focus on building game mechanics that help players progress in an interesting way.”
When it comes to monetizing your game, consider using rewarded ads. This format is more engaging since it gives users the option to watch ads in exchange for in-app rewards. Janos’ tip is to “work in tandem to optimize floors,” and recommends using “a robust segmentation to show ads to the players that are more likely to respond.”
Last but not least, think data! A data-driven approach is mandatory to understand how your users behave. Master analytics to identify patterns and draw insights to optimize the frequency and formats of your ads. After all, your goal is to maximize ad revenue.
If you ask us: monitor your results to have a clear understanding of your players’ behavior and their tolerance for ads. Make sure you are showing players enough ads to generate more money than you are spending to acquire them. The cost to acquire players is skyrocketing and hyper-casual games tend to make less revenue than other genres, so you want to closely track your game performance to spend your money on a ROI positive basis!
Click here to download Jano’s presentation.