Adjust and Unity: Hypercasual mobile games grew 72% in March

Adjust and Unity: Hypercasual mobile games grew 72% in March

Hypercasual games, or mobile titles that people can play in a minute or less, increased 72% in the quarter ending March 31, as gamers turned to mobile games as a balm for the pandemic, according to a report of the mobile measurement business Adjust and game engine manufacturer Unity Technologies.

This is just one of the ways games have benefited from stopping everything except online entertainment. People around the world are spending more time than ever playing games while protecting themselves on the spot, with an estimated 2.7 billion users who are expected to spend $ 77.2 billion on mobile games in 2020, according to the report.

Hyper-classic games are light games that offer a lot of replayability. The report analyzed data from hypercasual game advertising campaigns, along with the average cost of advertising data from Unity.

Hyper-classic game sessions increased 72% worldwide in March. China registered a 300% increase in sessions between December 2019 and March 2020, while South Korea recorded a 152% increase. Sessions in Japan and Germany increased by 137% and 69% respectively. In April and May, hypercasual games remained popular, but growth rates began to decline, said Paul Muller, chief technology officer at Adjust, in an interview with GamesBeat.

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Above: Installation costs for mobile games decrease

Image Credit: Adjust / Unit

The facilities for hypercasual games increased by 103% from December 2019 to the end of March. The largest increase occurred in China, which increased 3.5 times in the quarter.

“We can certainly see that the time spent in the games was extraordinary compared to many other types of applications,” said Muller. “Play is definitely the only type of vertical where you can say people are at home, they want to have something to do, and playing something seems like a great way to pass the time. And many games have a social component where you can see that there are other people playing too. “

The results of the report show that hypercasual games experienced tremendous growth on mobile in the first quarter of 2020, with application engagement and downloads all reaching record highs. The report is based on data from the first 1000 and all the applications tracked on the Adjust platform, as well as hyper-relaxed advertising campaigns on the Unity network between the fourth and first quarter of 2020.

The strength of hypercasual and mobile games during the pandemic has shown that the smartphone is often the preferred device for many people, even when they are at home and have access to laptops, desktops and game consoles, said Muller.

“We can see that people are actually using the phone because it has become the main computer interface over the years,” he said. “It’s the logic to turn to when you want to spend some time doing something. In 2010, you would be using your computer. But in 2020, you are using the phone to play something. The pandemic has given us a accelerated view of that. “

At the lower end of growth, sessions in the United States increased by 35% and increased by 34% in the United Kingdom, as hypercasual users in the United States are already heavy gamers – contributing to 15% of global sessions on an average basis from December 2019 to April 2020. – the increase was not as large. Muller said that cultural differences and different user behaviors may have made a difference in the different growth rates in the United States compared to China.

While the overall costs per installation (IPC, or the cost of advertising a game for someone to install it) decreased by 35% at the end of March, the cost of acquiring hypercasual users in the United States is more than double that of Europe and the Middle East. Nevertheless, marketers can expect the highest conversion rates (17%) in the United States, the gold standard of hypercasual mobile players. At the same time, costs in Asia-Pacific have dropped sharply, to around 20 cents.

“It is clear that one thing that happened during the pandemic was that the cost per facility went down,” said Muller. “We are seeing it now, we are seeing a bit of a rebound in the past two weeks, as costs go back to a more pre-pandemic level, but it is a little too early to say where it will stabilize. . “

Globally, the CPIs are much lower, averaging 17 cents in the first quarter of 2020. This is likely attributed to the impact of much lower CPIs in Latin America, particularly in countries such as the Brazil and Mexico, where large impatient user bases can’t get enough Games.

Above: Hyper-classic games experienced huge growth in the first quarter of 2020.

Image Credit: Adjust / Unit

Hypercasual games combine simple mechanisms and a minimalist design, which results in very engaged users, more likely to accept and engage with advertisements. Due to the openness of users to ads, hypercasual games have been able to build a unique business model for mobile games, relying on monetized ads for 95% of their revenues. Hyper-classic games take up a significant portion of the overall publicity for games, said Muller.

Muller said hypercasual games combine the best advertising experience with the most engaging mechanisms to appeal to the widest range of players. As such, they redefined the way of user acquisition and ad monetization.

Due to the fleeting appeal of each of these games, users are continually directed to the next application in a company’s portfolio – creating a snowball effect as users roll in and increase the user base of the game. ‘company.

“One of the things that we see with hypercasual games is that they have a different approach from classic game publishers,” said Muller. “It’s not about publishing a game and having a successful user base and nurturing that. Rather, it’s a short game. People stay a lot less than a casual game. is not to get someone to play a game for a long time. The goal is to make you settle in and like five or six of my games. And so overall you will be spending roughly the same time through games and they’ll actually monetize a little bit better because of the extremely aggressive monetization. ”

Agatha Hood, head of global ad sales at Unity, said in a statement that developers of hypercasual games have become masters of creating effective ads. these ads have high click-through and installation rates of 22% and 14%, respectively. As people stay inside, engagement is on the rise, as is the competition for user attention.

As the cost of advertising increases, game companies may soon have to get used to the idea of ​​spending more on their mobile game marketing campaigns compared to the past few months, Muller said.

“It is definitely time to make sure your strategy is in place,” he said.

The report is based on data from the 1000 best applications tracked on the Adjust platform and hypercasual advertising campaigns on the Unity network between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.

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