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Accessibility "crucial" for successful hybridcasual games

An analysis of the hybridcasual market by Sensor Tower and Homa reveals new key tips
Accessibility

Making a hit hybridcasual game can involve establishing your approach, creating appealing visuals and the addition of social features, a new report has revealed.

The Hybridcasual Games Playbook by Sensor Tower and Homa offers details from the companies’ examination of the hybridcasual games market, including the best practices for making a success of such a gameIt follows on from their exploration of the genre's success compared to the previously dominant hypercasual genre.

Marketability, in-app purchases and metrics analysis were also explored to help advise developers.

Reaching player types

The first step when a developer looks to create a hit hybridcasual title should be establishing a long-term approach that will keep players engaged for a long period of time, increasing both marketability and engagement potential.

High-clarity videos and interesting level design help to boost the appeal of mobile games in the genre, meanwhile tutorials and story modes where players can compete help to keep them invested, as does an optimised difficulty level.

On a similar note, the playbook advised adding social features to games – such as the ability to play in tournaments – to increase retention. They also noted that this can also be used in tandem with strategic in-app purchases.

Subscriptions are another monetisation option, with playbook suggesting offering players exclusive power-ups or content if they subscribe to the game, both enhancing gameplay overall and boosting user engagement. In the case of more traditional in-app purchase options and ad reward models, it has suggested running A/B tests to determine which revenue streams are the most effective. Optimising these economies regularly may also help.

Homa’s team brought attention to three types of player – the casual players who enjoy manageable levels, "whales" who prefer a bigger challenge, and basic players somewhere in the middle. Logically, each type of audience is best addressed in a different way, such as offering in-app purchases to the whales.

When it comes to hybridcasual specifically though, of course a key feature is ease of play. Accessibility and simplified game mechanics are therefore "crucial," among further details in the full playbook.

Recent data has shown that the USA, India, and emerging markets are currently leading the way in app installs.