A brief look into the state of the hyper-casual games market in Q4 2023

Let’s look into the hyper-casual games market in the last quarter of 2024. How the established games are holding up, and how the newcomers are carrying on.

According to AppMagic, hyper-casual installs declined in Q4 2023, but established titles managed to endure the decline. There were also multiple newcomers who had a solid start, keeping the hope for the industry alive.

Downloads continued their downward trend, decreasing 6% compared to Q3 and a hefty 16% year-over-year. Tier-1 regions in the East and West suffered the most, experiencing significant annual slumps. However, the decline wasn’t limited to these areas, with all other countries seeing a 10% decrease.

Despite the overall decline, some established titles managed to retain their status. Games like My Perfect Hotel (+23%), Race Master 3D (+24%), and Car Race 3D (+15%) not only maintained their positions but saw increased player interest. Even Magic Tiles 3 managed a modest 6% climb. But some well-known titles still took their share from the decline. Burger Please saw a 13% and Bridge Race 4% decline, while Going Balls held steady.

On the other hand, some new titles managed to break into the top 10. Build a Queen, a quirky runner with hilarious choices and consequences, rocketed into third place. Hunter Assassin, a stealthy assassin thriller, joined the ranks, captivating players with its heart-pounding gameplay. Color ASMR: Painting Book, a calming coloring experience that embraced the festive spirit of December, found its place among the top dogs. And lastly, Stacky Bird: Remastered, a nostalgic reboot of the classic, soared back into the limelight.

Monetization strategies varied across the top performers. Build a Queen relied heavily on rewarded videos, while Hunter Assassin applied a mixed strategy, including gem purchases, ad-free experiences, and spin-wheel rewards. Showcasing gameplay and leveraging player frustration remained popular advertising themes, with some developers incorporating seasonal elements and even experimenting with User Generated Content (UGC) through real-person ads and crafting-style footage.

While Q4 2023 presented a picture of a hyper-casual market facing download challenges, it also highlighted the industry’s resilience and adaptability. Established titles remained relevant, exciting newcomers emerged, and diverse monetization and marketing strategies took center stage. We’ll see how 2024 will go for the hyper-casual games industry.

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