The mobile gaming industry is thriving and shows no signs of slowing. In the coming years, the billion-dollar industry will continue to grow. Significantly, several exciting trends in the mobile gaming sector, ranging from virtual reality, augmented reality, cross-platform gaming, and social features to in-app purchases and subscriptions, are about to take off. In the mobile gaming industry, there is never a dull moment.
A new year brings with it new trends, market shifts, and technologies that are poised to have a significant impact on the hyper-casual landscape as we know it. Our mission today is to predict these changes to help you kick off 2023 successfully.
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2022 is coming to an end
Before looking ahead to 2023, consider what defined the previous year. Trends from the previous year frequently inform those of the future, so don't ignore what happened in 2022.
In the previous year, three hyper-casual genres stood out as strong performers:
- Runners: This ever-popular genre demonstrated its continued marketability and profitability, with games such as Tall Man Run and Rope Man Run reaching the top of the charts.
- io games: These games are known for their long-term success, with older titles like Hide N Seek and Bridge Race still charting and generating consistent profits.
- Idle arcade: Idle arcade games, such as My Mini Mart, exploded in popularity in 2022, with their strong in-game metrics and high LTV compensating for their often lower marketability.
The influence of TikTok
Another big 2022 trend: TikTok as a source of ideas - not just for game concepts, but also for creative strategies and early marketability testing. TikTok's importance for hyper-casual grew as it reached billions of people worldwide, with top-chart hits inspired by viral videos, such as Color Match. Furthermore, it became extremely effective as a UA channel, with many hyper-casual games using it as a top network to significantly scale.
And, because TikTok has such a large following, it represents a significant marketability opportunity - viral game concepts that succeed on TikTok tend to perform well across other channels as well. So, to give concepts a better chance of success, Supersonic integrated TikTok into our marketability testing.
It's common for casual games to inspire hyper-casual versions, but 2022 was a year that saw new ways to hyper-casualize games. Clicker games and idle arcades, for example, grew in popularity as simplified, snackable variations of casual mechanics.
This year, the depth of casual games became more pronounced in hyper-casual. It became common to see hyper-casual titles with deeper meta and a secondary game economy, which are traditional casual game hallmarks. This trend toward greater complexity and depth corresponds to a shift in the large mobile ecosystem in 2022.
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Predictions for hyper-casual games in 2023
After the trends from 2022, it's time to look ahead to 2023 in hyper-casual.
ChatGPT for quick ideation and development
Open AI tools can be used for more than just writing term papers; they can also be used by casual developers for everything from ideation, content creation, and dialogues to solving complex code problems. Chat GPT and other Open AI tools can assist developers in performing specific programming tasks much more quickly, acting as a highly intelligent assistant.
To design a strong core for a game, you'll still need expertise and know-how - but OpenAI tools can help you streamline your daily tasks so you can test, build, and launch games more quickly. We anticipate that more gaming companies will adopt and incorporate these smart tools into their development processes. As a result, as this technology advances, we will most likely see innovative games utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning in the coming years.
Increase in player ownership
What started with NFTs and blockchain technology has recently shifted to technology that allows players to own game assets that improve the gameplay experience. When players acquire assets while playing, they become the true owner of that asset, which they can use outside of the game for trading with other players, keeping it as a collectible in their wallets, and using it as a power-up in other games. This type of player ownership can lead to increased community building and app engagement.
Specialization in the studio
There weren't as many hyper-casual sub-genres in the past; developers could create a variety of games and still be successful. The hyper-casual industry has expanded to include a wide range of games that are vastly different from one another. As a result, each necessitates a distinct approach, distinct code-based templates, and distinct creative processes.
Conclusion: The hyper-casual is here to stay
To increase LTV, the mobile game ecosystem is pushing hyper-casual games to become more complex and deep. This is not to say that hyper-casual is dead; quite the contrary: we predict that hyper-casual games will continue to be a major focus in 2023.
The core characteristics of hyper-casual games are likely to remain the same:
Because of their engaging and simple gameplay, hyper-casual games have a large audience that is growing as users look for new and exciting gaming experiences. Even as they introduce deeper meta and more complex progression, hyper-casual games remain highly marketable and accessible titles designed for mass adoption.
⭐️ Related reading:Win At The Starting Line: 5 Forecasts for the 2023 Global Mobile MarketMobile Game Marketing Trends: How To Market & Monetize Hyper-Casual Games?