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Hypercasual was R&D with glamour

Now that the “hypercasual” word is not cool anymore, let’s talk about the benefits of R&D (which is a term for dinos, at this point).

Research and development in video games leads to the discovery of new technologies, mechanics, dynamics, and narratives. It is an activity that is hard to integrate within a business, especially in high-competitive environments.

I helped a couple of years a developer of hypercasual games and, in the end, to me, that was a little miracle. Why? Because for the first time in my career, I saw the fruit of R&D becoming an actual, shippable product. The CEO was happy, the developer was happy, and the marketer was happy.

Proposals were coming directly from publishers following trends, there were syntheses of popular indie and AAA gameplays. There was also heavy research on social/viral trends. I felt a volcano of ideas, that was a good period professionally speaking.

And it was because of the collision of 3 hacks: the CEO could save money thanks to the Unity Asset Store, developers could save time and the marketer could use concrete techniques to reach the hypercasual audience.

Many Players of hypercasual games were tech-savvy and very smart. They loved to find the flaws in these prototypes and they had fun in discovering how to become a “hacker”. They went very deep into the rules (which were the only elements well thought out) and they found a way of cracking them.

A breath of fresh air in a context where timers, special offers, and artificial scarcity were playing with their compulsivity!

Today the business model is gone, because it is not possible anymore to target directly these people with ads. It’s much more expensive to reach them so the little you make with ad monetization doesn’t cover the costs.

But these Players are still there, waiting for super innovative mechanics to break. Shipping “R&D games” every 2 weeks is still an available choice.

Published inGame Design

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