Mobile game developers are facing more competition in the casual game market, with more and more additions of other gameplay elements to beat the competition.
According to a new report from GameRefinery, 70% of the 100 highest-grossing iOS games in the United States have meta elements
In a previous report, GameRefinery pointed out that renovation features are currently one of the most popular meta-features in casual games and are present in each of the top 100 grossing casual games in the United States.
Building items are also growing in popularity alongside renovation items and are now present in 49% of the top 100 highest-grossing match-three games, up from 7% six years ago.
In addition to renovation and construction items, mini-games and special game modes that differ from the game’s core gameplay are also on the rise in the casual game space. GameRefinery suggests that in addition to adding variety to games, minigames can be “recycled” into wallets.
Social features and communities are also growing in the casual gaming space and are a good way to increase player retention. GameRefinery said social features can “broaden the motivational appeal” of casual games and can be added without changing the base game.
“The growing importance of these special game modes among casual games further proves that even casual gamers like to experience new things and have a choice of different game modes,” said Wilhelm Voutilainen, Chief Games Analyst at Game Refinery.
“Special game modes are a great way to give players more meaningful base game content, and with loose enough session length restrictions, they drive engagement and stickiness.”
According to recent stats from Sensor Tower, casual game developers have also started integrating season passes into their games, such as Candy Crush Saga and Gardenscapes.