“Hypercasual is definitely not dead”

Embrace CEO Eric Futoran says genre is evolving, but game economist Phillip Black says it’s “like a wounded animal that no one will just go out and shoot”

“Hypercasual is definitely not dead”

Hypercasual is definitely not dead despite declarations to the contrary, says Embrace CEO Eric Futoran.

Speaking during a panel discussion at the Gamemasters Summit, when asked about the state of hypercasual, Futoran said top companies in the space like Kwalee, Homa Games and Zynga-owned Rollic are just going through an evolution. For some companies, that evolution has led to an expansion into hybridcasual.

“Hypercasual has a ceiling,” said Futoran. “So if you're a founder or a company that really wants to grow, you can't grow purely off of hypercasual. So those companies are being forced to evolve.”

He added: “I don't want to mix the next wave with the current set of companies. So if you're somebody out there who wants to build hypercasual, there's definitely an opportunity.”

Futoran explained that while privacy changes by Google and Apple have made it harder to monetise these games with ads, it’s the developer’s goal to “hack the system” and find ways to monetise as fast as possible within the retention period their game has.

“Game developers don't like necessarily talking about it, but your goal isn't necessarily to build the most fantastic games, your goal is to get people in, interested for enough time, and then to churn through them until your game is dead.

“That definitely still works, you've just got to figure out that UA to monetisation equation, and that is definitely changing.”

“Wounded animal”

Deconstructor of Fun podcast co-host and game economist Phillip Black offered what he called a more “grim” diagnosis on the state of the hypercasual market.

“This has been like a wounded animal that no one will just go out and shoot,” he said. “It's just bleeding, it just keeps dragging and dragging.

“The only survival mechanic is finding ways around whatever their newest UA rules are. Whether that be fingerprinting now, the writing has always been on the wall. If you Google 'hypercasual is dead'. you'll see articles from 2021 when Apple starts to ramp up a lot of their ad tracking deprecation.”

Black did note that despite the challenges, hypercasual games still dominate the monthly download charts, but there was clearly a decline in the market.

“It's hard for me to go out and recommend developers to say, 'hey, you should invest in a declining market that's usually not what you're looking for. But it's still something with a very small team that you can get something out the door very quickly.”

Despite the grim diagnosis, Black said hypercasual was a great space for figuring out new core mechanics.

“There's so much gold that hypercasual's finding, so many beautiful mechanics,” he said. “There's an incredible amount of experimentation happening right now."

Head of Content

Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.