It’s undeniable that gaming is no longer a niche, but has become mainstream. In the past, gaming as an activity or culture was identified with console gaming through PlayStations and Xbox, which were far too unattainable to gain mainstream acceptance. But mobile gaming has taken the world by storm and has gained broad-based appeal and adoption. Gen-Z and Millennial audiences, especially, spend more time gaming than on any other form of entertainment.
Even within gaming, the hyper-casual game genre has become increasingly popular. As a game genre, it accounted for almost 60% of mobile game downloads out of the top 20 billion downloads in 2021. With simple user interfaces, compact sizes, and highly visual designs, hyper-casual games have a broad appeal among digital audiences, and not just among Gen-Z and Millennial players. So, given the popularity of this genre, how can this be leveraged to drive enterprise outcomes.
Today, let’s take a tour of hyper-casual games, their characteristics, and their incorporation into the enterprise to drive the best business outcomes.
What are Hyper-Casual Games?
Let’s start with what hyper-casual games are. They are games that incorporate simple mechanics such as clicking on something repeatedly, or swiping and selecting, or just clicking to avoid obstacles. They don’t require high levels of hand-eye coordination and incorporate bright visuals to make them eye-catching. Therefore, the level of skill asked of the player of a hyper-casual game is very low, making these games playable across all age groups.
Hyper casual games will also have mechanisms such as simple level-ups, bonus gatherings, and repeat visit rewards, all to make the player feel good about playing the game with easier ‘wins’.
Although they tend to concentrate on a single basic mechanic, such as endless running or finding hidden objects, hyper-casual games are nonetheless tricky enough to keep players engaged. In short, hyper-casual games are simple to learn but challenging to master, which draws players in repeatedly. The genre is famous for being played in small or snackable bursts, that gamers can enjoy while waiting in line or commuting to work.
How can games be used to drive enterprise outcomes?
Considering its minimal game mechanics and addictive game play it is easy to incorporate learning into hyper-casual games to increase knowledge retention and engagement, leading to higher productivity.
Question-based, hyper-casual gaming is a mechanic where questions can be answered to gain more time or lives or rewards in a game. As players play the game longer and longer to achieve high scores, they encounter these questions again and again as they seek to gain more time/lives to reach a higher score than before. Such a mechanic is known to drive higher recall of these facts or concepts, simply because they are seen again and again. This is a scientific technique called ‘Spaced Repetition’, where the repetition of these questions places difficult-to-recall facts and information in front of a learner multiple times until it excites not just rote memory, but visual memory as well. Multi-sensory memory ensures that these facts stick in the mind of the learner for a long time.
Based on the ‘high scores’, players then get to see a leaderboard, where they can compete with others on knowledge. This leaderboard spurs players to try to keep knocking others off the top perch and creates a ‘Pull’ mechanism for the content. Therefore, the need to beg and cajole learners to consume the content is very low. Additionally, social media mechanics can be added to create buzz such as sharing their wins on internal company pages or running these as contests, which reward those at the top of the leaderboard.
To sum up, it is undeniable that the popularity of the hyper-casual gaming genre combined with incorporating learning approaches makes it a potent tool in the hands of smart, new-age enterprise learning and capability development professionals. As the proportions of enterprise audiences start to lean more heavily in favor of millennials and Gen-Z, enterprises must make the leap to these approaches in order to remain relevant in these young minds.