Hyper Casual Games See Dramatic Decline as Hybrid Model Takes Over

There was a time when hyper casual games seemed like they were going to be the future of the gaming industry. They were able to cater to a whole new subclass of gamers who weren’t looking for serious games like console gamers and the like. In spite of the fact that this is the case, the release of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency protocol coupled with the seismic shifts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic led to a decline in ad impressions.

According to a new report released by Tenjin, ad impressions in iOS decreased by 20% in 2022, and ad revenues on Android fell by as much as 28% with all things having been considered and taken into account. Such changes were devastating for hyper casual games because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up ruining their ad based business model.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that in-app purchases saw a sharp rise in the same period. An increase of about 37% was noted in purchases that were made within apps, and Indian consumers are driving much of this movement.

This is why so many developers are eschewing the hyper casual model in favor of a hybrid model that tries to leverage in-app purchases more than might have been the case otherwise. While the increase that was noted only factored in Android consumers, this still creates an opportunity for developers who are struggling to make ends meet.

It turns out that hyper casual games were only profitable due to the abundance of third party tracking options that did not need consent from users. Apple’s steadfast defense of user privacy which led to third party tracking getting toggled off by default wreaked havoc with the once profitable business model, and it will be interesting to see if the hybrid model makes a difference.

We might notice a shift in the mobile gaming landscape. Hyper casual games will become far less prominent, and higher quality hybrid games will likely take their place.

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