What has been the effect of COVID-19 on hyper-casual gaming applications?

July 2020 — Daniel Salazar.

What are hyper casual games?

This category covers a wide variety of genres, with the common feature that they are rather simple games, used in short sessions. Those that one opens for a while on public transport, in a waiting room or in the bathroom. The term is a little derogatory, which does not mean that it is not a fundamental sector of the industry, both in user volume and in income generation.

Diseases even in our time are not something that can be controlled, and it seems incredible that we have to live one of the worst pandemics caused by viruses in the last 100 years, such as SARS-COV2, a type of coronavirus that has been the cause of thousands of deaths, which had its debut in the city of Wuhan, China since December 2019, and from that moment the world changed completely in every way.

Therefore, the changes generated by the pandemic are notable from the moment in which telecommunications become a fundamental part of everyday life, and this in turn generates network traffic due to the demand for home office or remote education, even the adoption of forms of online entertainment. In this last field, mobile gaming apps and hyper-casual games, being available to anyone, acquire relevance since, in many countries of the world, non-necessity stores remain closed and people are looking for ways to distract themselves that do not involve leaving the house. However, even if e-commerce or the acquisition of services through digital platforms and mobile applications are trending, it will not be the case for all niches of entertainment and leisure, such as travel apps.

Other categories that did increase their downloads during the pandemic are: home delivery and / or shopping apps, VOD (Video On Demand) platforms, communication and conference apps, online banks, health and fitness apps, e-learning among other.

Since before COVID-19, there was already a growing trend in the hyper-casual applications market, reaching the top download positions long before the pandemic began in the first quarter of 2020 (representing 78% of the most downloaded new games in 2019), and this category is set to grow and evolve, as more and more titles adopt a "hybrid casual" model.

These are the 5 most downloaded games during COVID-19:

1. Ludo King
Ludo King.

It is played with 1 or 2 six sided dice and the objective is to transfer the 4 pieces from the game to the arrival. The turn is from the left and the tiles move from left to right (clockwise). It is up to each player, in turn, to roll the dice and move their chips if appropriate.

2. Garena Free Fire: Wonderland
Garena Free Fire: Wonderland.
  • Choose where you will land
  • Find your weapons
  • At all times try to stay inside the circle
  • Always stay covered
  • Don't underestimate the lawn
  • Always use the mini map
3. Call of duty mobile
Call of duty mobile.

There are a number of different maps and multiplayer modes to play. The main modes are Frontline, Team Deathmatch, Domination, Search & Destroy, Domination, Free for All, Practice vs AI. Then there are special feature modes, for example, Standoff: Halloween, Sniper Only, Gun Game, Prop Hunt. There are incentives to play all kinds, so stay tuned to the Battle Pass to see where you can get rewards. Featured modes come and go, the last one is 2v2 where you play in pairs.

4. Perfect Cream
Perfect Cream.

Perfect Cream is a game that will allow us to become a true chef. Although in this case we will not cook meat or fish, but we will have to make the best topping in the world. Sounds simple right? Well it is not as easy as it may seem. Do you dare to do the best topping in the world? The game has a large number of levels, so we can evolve our skills in making toppings. It is a free game, although it has in-game advertising, such as a monetization system.

5. Subway Surfers
Subway Surfers.
  • Left Arrow / right arrow, move left / right
  • Up Arrow - Jump
  • Down Arrow - Roll
  • Space - Activate hoverboard

In the future, the challenges for the hyper- casual gender will be sustainability and growth prospects when restrictions on social distancing are reduced. Although nothing is certain, it seems that the hyper-casual gaming business model is here to stay. This will certainly have implications for mobile marketing specialists from other verticals as the general trend towards optimization and automation takes hold.

Daniel Salazar.

Android Developer


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