Throughout 2023 the games industry has experienced the knock-on effects of last year’s post-pandemic slump, meaning layoffs and game shutterings abound. However, one gaming subsector has continued to rise, bolstering its revenues and landing at the forefront of the latest trends.
That sector is, of course, hybridcasual.
The heights of hybrid
The latest report from Sensor Tower has revealed that hybridcasual games revenues have increased by 30% this year, and now being in the final month of 2023, the genre is predicted to exceed $2.1 billion by the end of it.
The most significant increases have been in action-based and puzzle hybrid titles, and the total takings for genre as a whole has almost quadrupled in annual revenue since 2019’s $600 million. In fact, 2023’s top 10 hybridcasual games in the Chinese market alone have accumulated almost $600 million, nearly matching the global milestone from four years ago. And this surge isn’t just one segment of overall consumer spending growth either, as hypercasual actually saw a fall from grace in China this year.
Furthermore, China’s top 30 mobile revenue earners have shifted from 20% hybridcasual in 2019 to a huge 43% in 2023 - now claiming almost half of the list in this crucial market.
It is clear, therefore, just how much the hybridcasual genre has taken off, and why even console developers are looking for an in into this latest mobile trend.
Is the end in sight?
However, the mobile industry is ever adapting and the hybridcasual genre isn’t as new as it once was. Globally, hybridcasual revenues in 2022 reached $1.6 billion at a 60% yearly increase, so whilst revenues have continued to rise to $2.1 billion in 2023, the growth rate has halved to 30%.
Certainly, mobile gamers are engaging with current retention strategies and the more midcore elements of hybridcasual, and the genre’s success is indeed continuing to rise with the $2 billion milestone now surmounted, but whether the genre can avoid hypercasual's stumble on its way up the revenue hill is a valid question for 2024.
Among the companies highlighted in Sensor Tower’s full report was Voodoo, the French developer that shifted to a hybridcasual model last year and has seen a resultant 250% revenue increase. France was fast to identify the downfall of hypercasual, with only 3% of its games produced last year being part of the genre while almost twice as many had already turned hybrid.