“Hypercasual” Video Games Are All the Rage
Investors Pour in Millions
Interest in “hypercasual” video games took off during the pandemic and continues to rise. These games are simple, easy-to-learn, and include repetitive challenges such as stocking a virtual refrigerator or painting digital nails. The number of downloads has ballooned from 7.51 billion in 2019 to 12.6 billion in 2020 and 15.6 billion in 2021.
Amid skyrocketing demand, gaming companies have attracted millions of dollars from venture capital and private equity companies. The cash influx has some market observers concerned the market may be getting oversaturated.
Since these games are developed quickly and at a relatively low cost, studios produce a lot of them to test out which ones get traction with consumers. Voodoo SAS, which is backed by Goldman Sachs (GS), is one such creator that has an average hit rate of two successful games per 800 launched.
Copycat games are also a popular strategy. These are where a developer changes a competitor’s game enough to sidestep intellectual property rules so as to launch its own version of a game that’s proven to be popular.
New Bells and Whistles
Due to the simple nature of the games, players tend to lose interest quickly. Gaming companies have had to constantly add new users to maintain their bottom lines. More recently, some have shifted their strategy to focus on keeping the players they already have. Other companies are looking for ways to make money outside of advertising.
For example, Voodoo is expanding its offering of games that provide in-app purchases. The company is also looking to drive sustained engagement with prizes and long-term challenges. As the competition heats up, gaming enthusiasts are likely to enjoy new ways to experience their favorite pastime.
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