This article is part of an ongoing series of data-driven articles from PocketGamer.biz and App Annie highlighting trends in the global mobile games sector using App Annie’s Game IQ analytics.
The popularity of hypercasual games continues to grow in the global mobile market, with the genre’s key attributes: a single, simple mechanic, freely accessible, short gameplay sessions - all finding success with players around the world.
Developers and publishers in almost every region are finding that these easily understood titles, which strip the whole idea of videogames back to the very basics, can attract huge audiences and create compelling experiences for players.
The design and development process for hypercasual titles varies greatly from the more ‘traditional’ approaches found in the PC and console markets, with very short design and development cycles, combined with an incredibly tight focus upon testing, metrics and iteration required to produce a game with low cost-per-install (CPI) and high Lifetime Value (LTV).
Companies around the world are finding that while this relatively new genre offers entirely new challenges, it also opens up entirely new markets and audiences.
Recent data from App Annie shows that hypercasual games were the number one genre for downloads - worldwide - in the third quarter of 2021, with over 3.5 billion downloads.
A breakdown of the numbers show that within the overall genre, action, puzzle and simulation games were by far the most popular.
As noted in a previous report, Europe is a powerhouse in the hypercasual sphere, with publishers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounting for almost 10% of all downloads across the quarter.
It seems the hypercasual hype is unlikely to die away any time soon.
App Annie's Head of Insight, Lexi Sydow, said:
"Hypercasual games tend to dominate global top charts for downloads given their easy, accessible nature. In Q3 2021, Hypercasual was the number one genre for downloads worldwide according to App Annie’s Game IQ taxonomy, seeing over 3.5 billion downloads.
"Looking at subgenres, Hypercasual > Action, Hypercasual > Puzzle and Hypercasual > Simulation were the top three subgenres for downloads in Q3 2021.
"EMEA is a powerhouse region publishing top hypercasual titles with Supersonic, Rollic, Voodoo, Follow Circles and Azur Interactive Games as noteworthy studios. The top 10 Hypercasual games by global downloads by EMEA HQ’d publishers accounted for nearly 10 per cent of all downloads of hypercasual games in the quarter."
Game IQ is a vertically tailored analytics product, developed by App Annie, that provides insight into dimensions such as class, genre, subgenre and tags. Games can now be analysed by broad category class (tuning), genre, subgenre, and tags (modifiers) such as IP, art style, settings, monetisation mechanic, and more.
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