“Hyper casual games have a great fan following and audience reach and have very high retention rates. Their small size, easy-to-use interface, and easy installation process make them highly versatile and extremely popular among audiences of diverse demographics,” said Apurv Modi.
These days, to dive into the gaming world, you are not required to have a computer or a particular gaming console. All you really want to have is your cell phone. The occasions when computer games culture was distinctly for the shut geek club are abandoned. Because of the insights, 33 per cent of the total populace are gamers and the numbers continue to increment as time passes.
The Managing Director and Co-founder of ATechnos, Apurv Modi in interaction with BW Gaming World talked about the growing popularity of Hyper casual games, his future plans and more.
Q. Why is there growing popularity of Hyper casual games?
Ans- Hyper-casual games are gaining tremendous popularity for the main reason that they are not the usual games that we find in the app store. They gain popularity owing to their distinguishing features. They follow simple tap-to-play mechanics and hold a simple design with attractive visuals. Also, these games have a comparatively smaller app size and are easy to download on gadgets. These games do not have a very lengthy playing session and qualify as best time passers and quick break time games. Most people play these hyper-casual games during their travel, lunch breaks, restroom breaks, etc. They appeal to a diverse audience base and are liked by children and adults alike.
Q. What according to you are the major changes that you witnessed in the gaming industry before and after the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ans- The gaming industry has truly witnessed a boom post-COVID-19 pandemic and it is one of the few sectors that thrives despite the economic disruption caused by the pandemic. The pandemic confined people to their couches and decreased their social interaction to almost nil. When people started staying at home for months, they started seeking social interaction through gaming. Statistics show a significant increase in the playing time of people since the start of the lockdowns.
People were playing games even before the pandemic, but the time spent on them was significantly lower. However, post-pandemic, consumers were seen to buy fewer games than in the previous decades. They started spending more time on the games and benefitted the gaming industry with recurring revenue generated through a single base.
Q. How brands are utilising hyper-casual gaming?
Ans- Hyper casual games are becoming highly popular among consumers lately and brands are taking advantage of this gamification trend to convert their marketing messages into experiences. Brands utilize this opportunity to stay with their consumers for a longer time, enhance their performance and take time to re-target the consumers. Brands are indeed enhancing their marketing messages to influence people, to participate in the experience, and share it among their contacts, organically.
In hyper-casual games, the players are generally rewarded for their participation, and this helps in enhancing their engagement further. Brands use these games to run their campaigns and offer them discounts based on their game performance. At the end of the day, players get their reward and brands get their sales. Brands can also leverage in-app advertising, to expand their reach and promote in-app purchases to drive revenue.
Q. What does the market look like? Growth trajectory etc?
Ans- The market of hyper-casual games is witnessing a steady increase and in the last year alone, the share of hyper-casual games grew up to 3.5 times. About 101 million new gamers got on the track in the video gaming industry, mainly because of the hyper-casual games. The market size of these hyper-casual games has increased to about $25 billion. And it has been projected that hyper-casual gamers download 10 times more apps and two times more video ads than the players of other video games.
In the year 2019, the market for hyper-casual games accounted for 45 per cent of the total mobile game installs and this clocked to approximately 7.8 billion downloads. In the year 2020, the game download rate increased to about 11.8 billion. The revenue of the hyper-casual games experiences a hike of $3 billion annually. Many brands are investing in creating their own games and gamers seek to create their permanent jobs in gaming.
Q. How has the pandemic created more opportunities for such online gaming segments?
Ans- The pandemic brought along work from home and stay-at-home orders across the globe for months together. Though people worked from home, they still had enough time and leisure that they diverted towards playing online games. There is at least a 75 per cent boost in the online gaming segment, since the outbreak of the global pandemic. People were also not spending money on food, entertainment, and drinks outside the home, which increased their margin of expenditure. They were ready to purchase games online and spend their time constructively.
People felt relieved and diverted from the agony and the depression that the pandemic caused, by playing online games. The online games offered them cognitive stimulation, offered them opportunities to socialize, and improved their mental health by decreasing stress and anxiety. Covid has taught the world the power of video games, on how it empowers people to stay mentally strong and socially connected. The online game developers grabbed the opportunity to create innovative and interesting games that propelled their revenue as well.
Q. Growth journey and what does the future look like for hyper-casual gaming in India?
Ans- Hyper casual games are occupying the largest chunk of the gaming market and have experienced tremendous growth since the year 2018. These games might lack sophisticated designs and complex gaming processes, but they have a very high retention rate, compared with the other hardcore games. Hyper casual games witnessed a massive growth rate in the first quarter of 2020 in India, with their rate of downloads and app engagement jumping to great records. The game installations witnessed a hike of 103 per cent from December 2019 to March 2020. Apart from fresh installation, the time that people spent on playing these games also increased to about 72 per cent.
Hyper casual games can have a great future as they are easy to build and play and they also have a huge audience base and are highly profitable. The hyper-casual gaming industry in India is worth INR 91 billion currently and it is projected to reach about Rs 187 billion by the year 2022.
Q. Do you think people can consider gaming as a full-time profession?
Ans- It is not uncommon for people to convert their hobbies into their full-time profession and make big profits out of it. This holds for gaming as well, and great game developers are those who have been spending a lot of their time playing different types of video games. Gaming can indeed be a prospective and viable career and people can consider developing games as their full-time profession. The gaming industry has employed thousands of people and one can easily find a job in gaming and in other industries that are linked to playing video games.
There is also a direct link between gaming and marketing, gaming and financial industry, gaming and promotions, etc., and we can see a lot of investors and holders of cryptocurrencies convert their investments as NFT tokes to use in games. Marketers are using games to promote their brand and convert sales through in-app purchases. Thus, the gaming industry is diverse, and by taking up a full-time profession in gaming, and its allied fields people can end up in a highly interesting job with a fat paycheck.