In 2023, Hybridcasual surpasses the $2 billion milestone.
Throughout 2023, the gaming industry grappled with the repercussions of the post-pandemic downturn, marked by layoffs and game closures. Amidst this backdrop, one gaming subsector has defied the trend, establishing itself as a leading force in the industry—the hybridcasual genre.
Sensor Tower's latest report unveiled a remarkable 30% increase in hybridcasual game revenues this year, projecting the genre to surpass $2.1 billion by the year-end. Notably, action-based and puzzle hybrid titles spearheaded significant growth, with the genre's overall revenue nearly quadrupling since 2019's $600 million.
China played a pivotal role in this surge, with the top 10 hybridcasual games in the Chinese market alone accumulating nearly $600 million, echoing global achievements from four years prior. Surprisingly, hypercasual games experienced a decline in China this year, further highlighting hybridcasual's ascendancy.
Remarkably, China's top 30 mobile revenue earners shifted from 20% hybridcasual in 2019 to an impressive 43% in 2023, dominating almost half of the list in this crucial market.
The success of the hybridcasual genre has not gone unnoticed by console developers, prompting interest in tapping into this thriving mobile trend.
However, as the mobile industry constantly evolves, the once-novel hybridcasual genre faces new challenges. While global hybridcasual revenues reached $1.6 billion in 2022 with a 60% yearly increase, the growth rate has now halved to 30%, reaching $2.1 billion in 2023.
Mobile gamers are actively engaging with current retention strategies and embracing the more midcore elements of hybridcasual, contributing to the genre's ongoing success. Yet, as the genre navigates the $2 billion milestone, the question of whether it can avoid the pitfalls experienced by hypercasual games on the path to revenue dominance looms large for 2024.
Among the success stories highlighted in Sensor Tower's comprehensive report is Voodoo, the French developer that shifted to a hybridcasual model last year, resulting in an impressive 250% increase in revenue. France, quick to recognize the decline of hypercasual, witnessed a notable shift, with only 3% of games produced last year belonging to the hypercasual genre, while almost twice as many embraced the hybridcasual wave.
Source: adapted from an article by Aaron Astle, News Editor for PocketGamer.biz.