Free-to-play mobile games publisher AppQuantum has announced a new programme for developers of hypercasual and hybridcasual mobile titles. This programme, named Core is the King, will provide selected devs with financial support of up to $1 million each.
Funding a hybrid change
As hybridcasual games grow in popularity, taking a play from the core games book and moving away from hypercasual’s hyperspeed gameplay sessions, the genre is one an increasing number of developers are looking towards.
Core is the King’s purpose is to assist studios in making a move to hybridcasual, including opportunities to help shift games from hyper to hybrid. Among AppQuantum’s ambitions are expanding developers’ user acquisition potentials, attracting new monetised audiences distinct from hypercasual, and integrating casual genre features into their games.
The programme also prioritises prototyping, encouraging developers to develop one project throughout, and is designed for teams with some experience in hypercasual or hybridcasual already. Proficiency with low-poly artstyles is also a preference.
As for how funds will be distributed, AppQuantum has explained that "the most promising studios" with the best projects will receive up to $250,000 minimum - a guarantee for signing the contract. Beyond that, a further $250,000 may be provided if a jointly agreed KPI is fulfilled, and afterwards, up to $500,000 more as an investment into the dev’s next project.
"More than two decades ago, casual games provided an accessible niche for small, inexperienced teams. Five to seven years ago, hyper-casual games rose on mobile platforms, offering an even lower entry barrier. However, with today's oversaturated market, transitioning from concept to hit has become challenging, and both costs and development times have surged," said AppQuantum programme owner and publishing producer Taras Koshelev.
"Teams in hyper-casual game development now face a decision: either deepen product expertise by creating more intricate games that retain players longer or pivot to other markets or platforms. We've designed this program for teams opting for the first approach."
AppQuantum’s Stanislav Maruhlenko recently analysed hybridcasual title Dreamdale's core mechanics, after the game made almost $6 million in its debut month.