Hyper-casual game downloads are up 150% in 12 months

Anne Freier

In App Business. November 28, 2019

Downloads of hyper-casual games rose 150% year-on-year as the number of these gaming apps jumped by 170% during 2019. That’s according to the latest report from mobile attribution and marketing analytics firm AppsFlyer.

The findings highlight that hyper-casual games are gaining momentum thanks to their instant, engaging gameplay with the highest number of average installs across 50% of global markets.

The number of hyper-casual apps in the app stores rose 170% during 2019, which is more than 3x that of the gaming industry average.

But the genre’s use of ad monetisation is also having an effect on other mobile game genres with midcore and hardcore games funnelling more cash into monetisation. Indeed, in-app ad revenues jumped 34% compared to the previous year.

“As Hyper Casual games continue to appeal to a wider audience and larger number of players, the use of in-app ads as a source of revenue is on the rise, driving growth across gaming genres,” said Igal Frid, Mobile Insights Specialist, AppsFlyer. “For businesses across this sector, initiating testing to find the right balance of revenue between in-app ads and in-app purchases is essential.”

But user numbers have taken a toll with midcourse games witnessing a drop of 46% in paying users whilst hardcore game usership fell 15%.

Retargeting existing users is another strategy that has been widely employed by game genres to make up for the loss in new users. Such strategies saw a 50% lift in revenues.

AppsFlyer noticed that on average game app users were opening their apps more often per month. Although some users may play some games more often, the genre also sees some of the highest uninstall rates at 34% above non-gaming apps.

In-app fraud appears to be on the rise with malicious post-install events being registered more often.

“By offering players variety, users are finding games designed for their exact taste so we’re seeing increased stickiness in the market,” said Brian Murphy, Head of Gaming, AppsFlyer. “While this is great news for marketers, the concurrent increase in adoption of pricing models that connect an in-app action, such as level achieved or coins collected, to payment has also produced a rise of in-app fraud, particularly in Casual and Midcore games. This presents both a challenge and opportunity for marketers.  Marketers must stay vigilant and respond quickly to protect themselves.”