mobile gaming

A driving force to the growing casual gaming community

By William Davis

|

Dec 14, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Video games aren’t new, but they have never been so popular. The gaming industry is massive and goes way beyond consoles and online games. 

Although diehard gamers are an important part of this industry, a new force is emerging: casual gamers, and their love for mobile gaming. Here’s how they’re shaping the global gaming industry.

The rise of mobile games

Console games and PCs are the typical weapons of choice for core gamers. The reason is simple: those devices can handle heavy and complex games and have much larger screens. Mobile technology is evolving very fast, though. Flagship smartphones like the new iPhone 15 can run AAA titles like Resident Evil and Assassin’s Creed. However, most core gamers still prefer PCs and consoles.

Nevertheless, the mobile gaming market has a projected revenue of USD 89.25 billion in 2023. You probably won’t see titles like Bubble Shooter in tournaments for professional gamers. Yet, that’s precisely the type of a game casual players enjoy.

Not all casual games are the same

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The difference between AAA titles and casual games is apparent. However, there are many other options for casual games with varied complexity. The evolution of casual games resulted in two subgenres: hyper-casual and hybrid casual. 

Hyper-casual games are typically minimalistic, with modest graphics and straightforward gameplay. They’re easy to learn and run on almost any smartphone, making them excellent time killers. Since these games don’t require cutting-edge hardware, they’re also much more accessible.

As the name suggests, hybrid-casual titles mix a certain degree of AAA complexity with casual features. They’re still easy to pick up but incorporate many features that can’t be found in hyper-casual titles. 

Here, players are likely to find regular upgrades, a progression system, and even live events. Leaderboards and tournaments are also common in this subgenre. More importantly, hybrid-casual games have a huge potential for monetization. They often have in-game advertisements and allow you to buy in-game items.

A market for billions

About 20% of consumers worldwide have a console or at least access to one. Recent estimates point out that there are 2 billion computers in the world. None come close to mobile ownership, which reaches over 90% of the global population. Mobile games are unbeatable in terms of accessibility. Smartphones are also the favorite gaming devices for most casual players. 

Core gamers will likely spend more money on their gaming devices. For instance, a top-notch gaming PC can come with price tags above thousands of dollars. Also, PCs and consoles aren’t nearly as accessible as smartphones, and casual players are much less likely to invest top-dollar in their gaming devices. It explains why many casual players prefer to go mobile.

Hybrid-casual games will likely keep their upward trend, fuelled by a fine chemistry between casual and complex features. Those who find hyper-casual games unappealing but also find AAA titles overly complicated can have the best of both worlds in the growing hybrid-casual niche.


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