Gaming Monthly: Hyper-casual Games Market Update



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Following on from one of our previous articles, the rise of hyper-casual mobile games: the most popular games on earth, we delve back into the hyper-casual genre by taking a look at some of the most popular hyper-casual games on the leaderboards right now.

An intrinsic part of hyper-casual games is their incredibly high turnover rate. Very rarely does a single hyper-casual game sit at the top of the leaderboards for more than a few weeks. This creates an interesting market dynamic, where games start trending and fly to the top of leaderboards for a short period of time, only to be replaced by the ‘next big thing’ the very next week.

This week’s hyper-casual breakaway app on iOS is Bridge Race, which according to Airnow Data’s platform, has the #3 highest growth on the App Store. In the Bridge Race, the players have to collect blocks of their own colour and stack them up on a bridge, but beware, other players are trying to beat you to it! Bridge Race was created by Supersonic Studios Ltd, a large studio in a hyper-casual space. From playing the game, you will probably recognise the gameplay dynamics which have a lot in common with other recent hypercasual games such as Stair Run and Stack Colours which were also big hits.

On Android, Prison Escape: Stickman Story by OneSoft Global PTE is the biggest growing hyper-casual game. The story puts the player in a variety of sticky situations, with multiple-choice gameplay mechanics which the player has to use their wit and skill to get out of. The game was inspired by the story of Arsène Lupin, a fictional gentleman thief and master of disguise, who calls himself Lupin 19th France. With the recently successful Netflix series Lupin, whose story strongly features the character, is this another example of an app game that is piggybacking with current social trends? If it is, it has certainly worked, with a whopping 14.7 million downloads in the last 7 days.

Rounding off

This week’s breakaways have shown us two things of importance when it comes to hyper-casual games. Firstly, Bridge Race demonstrates the value of adapting, improving and altering gameplay mechanics which have already had success. When something isn’t broken, there’s no need to fix it. With the previous success of Stair Run, or even High Heels, which has some clear gameplay similarities, the decision from Supersonic Studios to keep the fundamentals the same guaranteed this game to be a success.

We all know the power of piggybacking, and Stickman Story demonstrated its power to us yet again. After Lupin’s successful Netflix release, a game that features the renowned Lupin was in hindsight a perfect ‘open goal’ for any app game developers to score.