1Q2020 - Casual Gaming Highlights
In the first quarter of 2020 there have been notable platforms to watch including Stadia by Google and GameSnacks for faster gaming. In addition, game funding and trends have been notable highlights in the news of casual gaming between January 1, 2020, and March 30, 2020.
- Since its release in November 2019, Stadia gaming platform by Google has had decreasing download numbers and users, however, the company is optimistic about the platforms' performance in 2020.
- In January 2020, Google announced that they are still investing in working out the kinks of the platform and planning to release 120 games in 2020.
- The platform is supposed to provide all platform-supported games without the need to download which could be a great feature in the casual gaming market.
- Announced improvements that will be rolled out this year include the following:
GameSnacks From Google Introduces Faster Gaming
- On February 13, 2020, GameSancks from Google's Area 120 was launched. The idea is to increase the speed that casual games load on mobile devices regardless of the internet speed.
- According to Techcrunch, the average person leaves a web page if it does not load in 3 seconds. Google's Area 120 aimed to provide a solution due to most mobile devices running on 2G or 3G speeds and having expensive data plans.
- GameSnacks claims that it will allow games to load in a few seconds regardless of network speed including speeds as low as 500 kbps.
- The system decreases the size of the initially loaded HTML and compresses additional data until it is necessary which will allow games to load faster.
- The platform is aimed at mobile casual games defined as games that only last a few minutes that are meant to fill down-time in everyday life, however, it is compatible on any web-capable device.
- GameSnacks is working with the following developers: Famobi, Inlogic Games, Black Moon Design, Geek Games, and Enclave Games.
Big Run Studios
- On March 24, 2020, Big Run Studios acquired new funding from Galaxy Interactiv in the amount of $1.4 million USD.
- The company's new release Blackout Blitz has hit androids top 25 games in the last 2 months.
- According to Venture Beat, the company has shown unprecedented retention, monetization, and growth in the casual gaming space.
Social Casual Gaming
- In 2020, the market is expected to see a trend in social MMO (massive multiplayer online) gaming in casual games.
- Facebook, Klang Games, Darewise Entertainment and Singularity 6 have begun looking for funding or developing functionalities that support social integrations into casual gaming.
- Essentially, games will emphasize social functionalities that will engage users in new open-world MMO games with a focus on casual gaming.
- In February, GameAnalytics released a report on the hypercasual gaming, drawing data from the previous years to analyze he outlook for 2020, which contained the following insights:
- Competition is growing in the hypercasual gaming space with the following top competitors: VooDoo, Lion Studios, Say Games and Crazy Labs.
- 42 publishers worldwide generated a total of 10 million downloads in January 2020.
- In 2020, it is expected that there will be around 1 in 5 apps that are HyperCasual in the Top 100, niches and mechanics will expand further, and ad Monetization will get smarter and more native.
1Q 2020 New Releases
- The following casual games were released between January 1, 2020, and March 30, 2020 (the date of the publication of this brief):
- Crystalborne: Heroes of Fate
- Om Nom Run
- Overdrive City
- World War Doh
- Battle Racing Stars
- Knockdown Heroes
- Shadowgun War Games
- Dragon Quest of the Stars
- Aces of the Luftwaffe — Squadron: Extended Edition
- Dragon Raja
- Monster Hunter Riders
- LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed
- Saint Seiya Shining Soldiers
- Note that since games are not always categorized as "casual" vs. "mid-core," we have had to make some subjective judgment calls on which games fit into which category in the above list. We have also not included any games that we could not confirm had a 1Q 2020 release date.
- In addition, the following casual games are now available via Apple Arcade, with the caveat that some are likely to be re-releases: