Your bite-sized guide on how to design and monetize a winning hyper-casual game

The hyper-casual game genre has rapidly climbed the app store charts and brings joy to millions of players around the world. In anticipation of the upcoming Ketchapp, GameJam, and Fyber’s Hyper New Year competition, we chatted with Ketchapp-Ubisoft’s Samy Guillemin on everything hyper-casual – from the basics to epic game design ideas, effective monetization tactics – and how to ultimately create your winning game.

 

Despite the hyper-casual industry constantly changing – it remains true to some fundamental pillars:

Three pillars to rule hyper-casual game development

Marketability still remains at the core of the experience 

With more games being discovered on various fast-scrolling social media platforms, your game creative needs to shout “download me!”, quickly conveying its goal and captivating the user.

 

Bring on the “wow” effect and stand out with something new and original 

Lower CPIs often come when the ad of a game showcases something that feels like it hasn’t been seen before. Originality can manifest itself in unique visuals or in innovative game mechanics – it’s the contributing X factor that sets the great hyper-casual games apart from the rest.

 

Simple, satisfying, and fast to consume – just like your favorite snack.

Snackability is key to deliver instant fun games. The very best games blend the ad experience, deep gameplay mechanics, mesmerizing visuals, and avoid frustration (at all costs!). Perfect your game to fill short vacant moments where players seek quick distractions. Engaged players contribute to your in-game retention – so keep a close tab on daily playtime and duration of gameplay.

 

Test different geos to collect all the data you can 

 

The goal of hyper-casual games is to reach the largest audience. With that being said, it’s crucial to test a diverse set of geos with the aim to identify where your game has the highest potential to be a viral success with strong retention – making it a profitable game. The data gathered and methodical testing is pivotal to the development, growth and profitability of your game, and can guide your way to creating more hyper-casual hits. 

 

“Even though the hyper-casual codes and trends are evolving very fast, the key pillars of hyper-casual haven’t changed much since the very beginning of the market (in 2014)״

– Samy Guillemin, Ketchapp-Ubisoft

 

Three pillars to effectively monetize hyper-casual games 

 

Use the right ad formats that relate to your gameplay

The bulk of hyper-casual revenue comes from the high frequency of in-app ad formats. Test and determine which ads relate to your gameplay, and find the sweet spot in maximizing the number of impressions in a given session of the game.

  • Rewarded video is the go-to engagement and retention tool for developers, yet they should ensure the reward on the other side of the ad is attractive enough for the player.
  • System-initiated ads, like interstitials and banners, are all about finding the equilibrium between volume and user experience that maximizes the value of a given session without being overly intrusive for players.

 

Gain a competitive edge with accurate configurations setup 

Don’t overlook actual impression count. Different KPIs (refresh rate, when exactly you are calling the ad, whether you cash the ad or not) are important components that link to the setup on your backend with your mediation platform or primary ad monetization partner. Adjusting these configurations can drive significant incremental revenue even without changing the ad placements in the game itself.

 

Easily tailor and segment users with your monetization partners

Not all partners have the same level of global fill or the same level of global demand to address the different user segments. To maximize revenue in different regions, you may require different ad monetization partners. Your monetization partner is there to advise and guide you through tried and trusted strategies on how to tailor your app for different audiences in different countries to make your game as profitable as possible across the world.

 

“A strong partnership between developer and monetization managers helps in defining what could be optimized in the game itself to create better monetization”

– Itai Cohen, VP Marketing, Fyber

 

Got a winning Hyper Casual game? – join the competition today!

 

Register here and stand a chance to win one of 70 prizes from the $150K prize pool.

 

Join us on the official Discord channel of the event to get the latest news!

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