Picking a Publisher to Launch Hyper Casual Game

Picking a Publisher to Launch Hyper Casual Game

If you have been following the hyper casual market for the past months, you surely noticed there's a couple of big players operating in it. And if you have checked the market trends, and installed a couple of random mobile games from chart tops or advertising, it is very likely that you played a game published by one of these companies (even if you did not notice at the time!)

Some of the most well known companies publishing and launching hyper casual games are

Go ahead and check their websites, and maybe the ones from some other competitors too! Your search engine will be your friend here.

These companies (which we will now call Publishers) usually have their own internal development teams creating and launching new ideas, but they tend to work a lot with external partners too! Why are these companies so eager to work with external teams and developers, then? And what is in there for them? There are a couple of different reasons and answers, which we shall explore right away!

Technology share chart

Very often, these publishers have very strong marketing teams, which excel in pushing their games out into the market and to a big audience. They are very experienced at coming up with the creatives used (meaning, the images and videos present in any marketing campaign), as well as setting up the actual broadcasting campaigns which are usually set up using social media and other advertising sources (refer back to the Hyper Casual Secret Formula for more insight!). In the end, these teams are always trying to make sure that the campaigns they create are memorable and impactful, which usually translates in them being very effective in getting new players to join the advertised game, for the best bang-for-the-buck possible!

In short, marketing teams from publishers know how to create great and high performing marketing campaigns. By comparison, most indie developers and smaller teams do not have people so dedicated to these concerns, instead being most focused on creating the best game possible. Considering all this, it is no wonder that small developers (and maybe that could be you!) end up working so much with the big publishers to launch their games! This allows them to keep improving their game to its best potential, leaving the marketing concerns to the publisher!

Of course, these publishers also get their share, in two forms: they get to rely on external teams to come up with new, disruptive ideas, much better and in higher quantity than they would be able to organise internally; besides that, and no less important, publishers will get their share in making this deal, usually getting back 30 to 70% (or sometimes even more!) of the revenue generated by the game after their support comes into play.

In some cases, it can be tricky for smaller developers to deal and negotiate with the big publisher players. Namely, deciding to part ways with the whole of the generated revenue, and instead getting a fraction of it, can be terrifying. But one way to look at it, is as follows. Which one would you rather get?

  • 100% of $5,000 revenue
  • 50% of $50,000 revenue

These are, obviously, example figures, assuming that a publisher would be able to increase revenue by 10x, for half the revenue in return. But, in all honesty, the 10x increase is not that uncommon when you compare the marketing possibilities of a small team, compared to a big publisher. As for the 50% deal, good luck with your negotiations with them ;)