Hyper-Casual Trend Digest #2

#freeplay #hypercasualdigest
December 7, 2022

Hey everyone,

‘Tis the season🎄🧑 🎄🎁. Here in FreePlay we’re all set for Q5 – scroll down to read about leveraging the advantage of jolly time. Hidden gems in HC gaming transformation are here as well – let’s say it’s an advent clipping of biggest insights for the next endeavors. Ho Ho Ho!


Major tech companies make a bid on the gaming business, and IAP is a major focus and challenge for mobile gaming. Coincidence?🕵️

1. 🔗 Runner game template for Unity

Uniti has introduced the Runner template’s features that can make it easier to create hypercasual runner games. We asked our Unity developer Kirill Siomin about this update.

2. 🔗 TikTok to launch standalone gaming channel

Gaming is an attractive field for entertainment companies, so more and more often we hear about the potential emergence of gaming tabs on platforms. Nowadays TikTok has had mini-games for months, and Netflix Games has been testing its games section for almost a year.

3. 🔗 Mobile gamers up spending on games in India 🇮🇳

According to data from app analytics company data.ai, spending in India, the most promising game dev market, is starting to skyrocket after the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the past two years, the IAP numbers have grown, as well as the number of downloads of paid games and the average revenue per paying user.

4. 🔗 New Google report suggests a delicate balance when it comes to in-game advertising

According to a new Google Puzzle Mobile Genre Report, about 43 percent of puzzle gamers report quitting the game because of too many ads. We did a detailed case study of the effect of ad frequency on IAP in our popular ASMR game Stone Grass.


What to expect from this X-mas season?

Usually in the beginning of December big players (e-commerce mostly) start pouring their advertising budgets regardless of cost per user. Hyper casual segment has a few peculiarities to prepare yourself for. Since the cost per install goes up and total volume may go down, traffic becomes pretty expensive. The traditional CPM pattern for holiday seasons in 2020 and 2021 showed a few pikes that doubled median numbers between Black Friday and Christmas.

From the monetization standpoint it makes sense to level up the bids due to CPM and LTV growth and include as many bidding networks as possible into your strategy. But optimization maneuvers are crucial – you need to be prepared to pull back at the right moment in order to fully take advantage of the so-called Q5 right after Dec 25th. Vacations start, traffic eases up and players are actively engaged in games. Go for it!


What we love about HC is how fast it can embrace new trends and ideas and how interestingly it can implement tried-and-true real life experiences. Gameplay masks as a part of social interaction is probably the most curious trend – deep psychological motives of self-expression, communication, playfulness and art are now so intuitively and universally presented. BTW, did you know that the oldest drawing of stickman is about 30,000 years old?

Your GamePlay Is Your Mask

Gaming mechanics are softly introduced to platforms as masks: this keeps the attention of users as they compete against each other, make videos and chat in the comments. These effects, for example, have amassed a total of 5.8M+ videos in game format: 1 to 20, Circle Wheel, Can You Match, and Maze.

Couture Gaming

Trends in HC are no longer just about fridge organizing and soap slicing. Boundaries are being erased, and even fashion influences development. For example, the viral video from the Coperni show with Bella Hadid inspired the studios to create new projects.

1 – Spray Dress!, 2 – DIY Spray Dress, 3 – Spray-on Dress

New Iteration of Skill Games

Weaving from colored ropes, rubber bands and a mix of colored blocks a la dominoes are gaining popularity again in HC projects. These can be runners or clickers—there are plenty of mechanics to choose from.

1 – Rubber Band Rush, 2 – Domino Runner 3D!, 3 – Twisty Rope!


ASMR reborn?

2021 was a boom of evergreen trends based on soothing effects: they were massively used in projects and for advertising. We could not resist and released our popular project Fidget Toys Trading: 3D Pop It, based on the TikTok trend.

Curious thing happened lately: the projects-clickers literally blew up the HC world and we see ASMR in a great number of projects! Who would have thought that a simple mechanic would rekindle interest in mixing paint, slicing food, knitting, painting, etc.?

1 – Spiro Art ASMR, 2 – String Art ASMR, 3 – Rope ASMR

And do you think the popularity of clickers could be considered a booster for the rebirth of ASMR?