Hybrid casual games soar: a 30% revenue surge in 2023

Anne Freer | December 6, 2023

App Business

In 2023, hybrid casual games have seen a significant boost in revenues, surging by 30%. That’s according to the latest data from SensorTower. Let’s dive in.

Hybrid casual is on a roll

As we approach the end of the year, mobile hybrid casual games are expected to make over $2.1 billion in total revenue.

The biggest increases in revenue were seen in action-based and puzzle hybrid games. The overall genre has experienced a remarkable fourfold increase in annual revenue since 2019 when it was at $600 million.

In China alone, the top 10 hybrid casual games of 2023 have made nearly $600 million in total, almost matching the global milestone set four years ago. Interestingly, this growth is not limited to a specific type of game, as hyper casual games have become less popular in China this year. Moreover, in 2023, China’s top 30 mobile revenue earners have shifted from 20% hybrid casual games in 2019 to a substantial 43%, claiming nearly half of the list in this important market.

Trend in mobile in-game purchases

Source: Sensor Tower

Globally, hybrid casual game revenues reached $1.6 billion in 2022, showing an impressive 60% yearly increase. While revenues have continued to rise, reaching $2.1 billion in 2023, the growth rate has slowed down to 30%.

Hybrid casual is mobile

Mobile gamers are clearly embracing current retention strategies and the more midcore elements of hybrid casual games, contributing to the ongoing success of the genre as it passes the $2 billion milestone. However, as the genre continues to grow, whether it can avoid the challenges faced by hyper casual games is a key question for 2024.

Hybrid casual mobile games are also diversifying their sources of revenue beyond advertising. From January to November 2023, a notable 93% of the world’s top 100 hybrid casual mobile games have adopted the currency wallet model. Additionally, 74% and 67% of these games have incorporated Novice Gift packs and online event monetisation strategies, indicating a shift towards various and innovative monetisation approaches.

Ranking of top Chinese hybrid games

Source: Sensor Tower

One notable company highlighted in the report is Voodoo, a French developer that transitioned to a hybrid casual model last year, resulting in an impressive 250% increase in revenue.

France quickly recognised the decline of hypercasual games, with only 3% of its games produced last year belonging to the genre, while nearly twice as many had already adopted a hybrid approach.

Key takeaways

  • Hybrid casual games are thriving, with a 30% revenue surge in 2023.
  • China plays a significant role, with top games nearing $600 million in revenue.
  • Mobile gamers embrace retention strategies, diversifying revenue sources, but challenges lie ahead in 2024.

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