What Makes Hyper-Casual Mobile Games So Popular?

With the rising popularity of story-focused games, high-quality graphics and complex storylines have become something of a phenomenon – so why do some mobile games still have low-res graphics? Why are some mobile games incredibly simple and easy to play yet still so popular?

Although we’re big fans of story-focused mobile games, we’re fascinated by the power of hyper-casual mobile games and their popularity. You would think that lower quality and simpler design in a mobile game would make it more likely to be undesirable. Interestingly enough, some of the most popular mobile games ever made are the simplest.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss why hyper-casual mobile games can be just as successful as their high-quality, hyper-realistic, plot-heavy counterparts.

Simplicity

Usually, what makes hyper-casual mobile games stand out more than anything else is their simplicity. Simple mobile games offer more accessibility in terms of skill level, meaning you don’t have to be a professional gamer in order to enjoy the game right from the get-go. Once you get comfortable with the main moves required to play, it quickly becomes an enjoyable and, in some cases, highly addictive mobile game.

When a mobile game is simple it becomes a great time-passer, even if the graphics are subpar. Think of playing Snake on an old mobile phone – there’s no denying how simple yet addicting it is. Despite it’s low-res graphics, the game is still widely played on lower-end mobile phones meaning that it has managed to preserve its longevity quite well despite its in-your-face simplicity.

Gameplay

In a nutshell, gameplay is the way you interact with a game. Just like any website or app would have user experience (UX), gameplay is known as the experience of a game, how players play it and how they feel while doing so. This can include the plot, mechanics, game rules, and any other elements that make up the game.

Engaging gameplay is a large defining factor in how a mobile game performs. When a hyper-casual mobile game is hugely successful, chances are it has impressive gameplay that creates a can’t-put-your-phone-down feeling when playing a mobile game. Gameplay doesn’t have to be extensive and sophisticated, it just needs to create an ebb and flow that connects the player to the game on a deep level – some sort of bliss point between easy yet challenging enough.

Free-to-play

Since a lot of hyper-casual mobile games are low-budget, many of them are published with a free-to-play model. Free-to-play offers wider accessibility, meaning the game can tap into a larger audience of players. Being available to practically anyone with a smartphone makes hyper-casual mobile games have a higher chance at gaining popularity.

Accidental Success

Creating a successful mobile game can be a hit or miss and, many a time, even the game developers themselves aren’t aware of how the response to their game will be. That’s why, with hyper-casual mobile games, extreme success can sometimes be completely accidental.

In some ways, that’s the beauty of the mobile games industry – in others, it can be a double-edged sword. Even the perfect recipe for a successful mobile game can sometimes land wrong, especially for new mobile game developers.

If you’re a mobile game developer entering the market, consider partnering with a top mobile games publisher. Partnering with Tamatem Games can boost your readiness to go to market in the MENA region and help you strategize when it comes to launch strategy, marketing, data analytics and more.

MENA Mobile Games Market Trends

Mobile gaming has shown tremendous growth across emerging markets over past years, with the MENA region straight ahead at the forefront. Now more than ever, mobile has evidently taken over the region and it’s here to stay. Forecasts show that the MENA mobile gaming market is predicted to maintain its multi-billion dollar revenue for years to come, making it an investment opportunity worth keeping an eye on. 

In an effort to take a closer look at mobile gaming in MENA, this blog post will give you a quantifiable look at the market while breaking down some elements that make it a high-growth region with large potential.

Market Size & Demographic

The MENA region is uniquely opportune – with a population of over 400 million, it boasts an attractive market size. About half of the MENA population is aged under 25, making its mobile game market potential powerful and unwavering. In addition, around 50% of the region has internet access which results in a viable market demographic with high potential for acquirable users.

Showing the highest year-over-year growth among emerging markets, like Latin America and Asia Pacific, in the mobile space, the MENA region has proven to be a worthy contender for mobile game developers’ next best investment. 

An Unsaturated Marketplace

Not only does MENA have a generous market size and a suitable demographic, but it’s also extremely unsaturated. With the scarce supply of high-quality Arabic mobile games and large demand for more and more mobile entertainment, the MENA market is largely untapped. That, combined with the growing internet adoption rate and the young age of average mobile gamers makes MENA the ideal market. 

Smartphone penetration rates are on the rise, meaning that the market will naturally show an increase in demand for mobile games catered to the region. MENA’s unsaturated marketplace means that mobile game developers should set their sights on expanding into the region via localization. 

MENA Mobile Games: What Works?

Considering that the majority of MENA uses Arabic as their default language, the market is a localization gold mine waiting to be tapped into. Seeing as the region is significantly culture-oriented, Arabic mobile games are adopted fast and retained strongly. Mobile games that use the Arabic language along with cultural isms and elements tend to perform well. 

As for pricing models, free-to-play mobile games are showing great promise and potential for growth. With that in mind, in-app monetization is an incredibly viable avenue since the Gulf has unparalleled purchasing power

Another prevalent trend that has picked up throughout MENA mobile games is social mobile gaming. Games like VIP Baloot and VIP Jalsat are good examples of how socially driven mobile games are successful in the region. This can also be a testament to the power of localization since card games are a huge part of the culture in MENA.

What’s Next For MENA Mobile Gaming

In a nutshell, mobile gaming in the MENA region is a force to be reckoned with and an investment area to capitalize on. With current market trends to show so and forecasts predicting a growth-centric future, we believe more global developers will look to target the MENA mobile gamer. 

If you’re a mobile games developer with an interest to expand into the region, consider partnering with a top mobile games publisher to lead your localization efforts. Tamatem’s team of seasoned translators, marketers, data analysts,, and developers make for a mobile game publishing powerhouse with an impressive track record.

What Makes A Great Mobile Game?