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How to Make a Successful Hyper-Casual Game in Today’s Market

by Eugen Quiring on Apr 15, 2020

I always look forward to PocketGamer Connects. It’s great to connect with developers to share advice, learnings, and best practices. I’m glad that despite current circumstances the event could still went ahead, albeit in digital form. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of this inaugural ] event and found it encouraging to see the high level of attendance and engagement throughout the four days of content.

There is a great demand for quality engaging gaming content right now, and it poses a real opportunity for game developers, both seasoned and aspiring, to create games that could become a roaring success. At Lion Studios we have had more than 1 billion total downloads of our games and have achieved chart-topping success with more titles like Save the Girl, I Peel Good and hit titles Flip Trickster and Love Balls. We took what we’ve learned from building and launching our own games, and built our presentation on what it takes to make a successful game.

For those who couldn’t be at the virtual event, we wanted to share some of the key learnings that we presented. When looking to build a successful game, here’s a checklist for success that you should ask yourself before getting started.

  • Is the game marketable? When testing a game ask yourself who the gameplay and visuals will appeal to. Will it have a broad enough appeal to create a loyal base and become a hit?
  • Think of the user engagement. Is the gameplay rewarding? Is there sufficient and clear progression to keep the users engaged? The success of our own game, Mr. Bullet reflects the success a simple hyper-casual game can have thanks to strong progression and bonus features.
  • Reaching the game’s potential. The team should be driven by the mindset to make data-driven decisions, and less on focusing on a specific game but rather make the overall economy for each title work.
  • Test, test, and test again. Testing and carrying out a soft launch is the only way to gauge how successful design and gameplay decisions have been, and it will reveal the marketability of the game. At Lion Studios when we’re getting ready to launch a new game, we always follow this process: Test, Review, Soft Launch, and Global Launch. 

Mobile gaming is becoming an everyday part of many people’s lives. We are amazed by industry talent we get to see from developers and their seemingly unlimited creativity! This time, we had another chance to judge at the Big Indie Pitch and got to know some very skilled developers. 

“It was very well organized considering this was the first online Big Indie Pitch,” said Philip Donald, Developer Relations Analyst, Lion Studios. “During the pitching, we are not only focusing on the presentation skill of the devs, but more curious about what’s the true competition of their game.” 

As for new hyper-casual studios, we encourage them to play to their strengths, or talk to larger studios to begin a mutually beneficial partnership as well as look at the charts for inspiration. In the next year, we’ll see games that have relatable themes and deeper gameplay engagement for a mass audience to survive the noise of this crowded market. Once your game is out, send ideas as soon as possible, even if it’s just a rough draft. As a publisher, Lion Studios is ready to collaborate on great game ideas as early as we can to help ensure success. 

If you missed out on this event, feel free to submit your game to Lion Studios through our official page here, we’d love to hear more about it! 
We’ll be also hosting more digital events in an effort to continue supporting the mobile game developer community. Check out this page for the latest information!

Eugen is Business Development Manager (CIS and Eastern Europe) for Lion Studios.