Tuğçe Kurulday– Dec 17, 2021
Social trends connect people from a vast variety of backgrounds and lifestyles. The latest fashion, popular music, and hit series can easily be found in every morning commute, afternoons with friends, and evenings with the family. The wide reach and appeal of these trends places them solidly in the mainstream – especially entertainment and leisure activities.
The past decade saw a shift to more pocket sized entertainment and has created a new medium for social trends: hypercasual games.
Hypercasual games have elevated the once niche hobby of gaming to a position of mainstream entertainment. These simple and fun games are fully adapted to modern life, allowing publishers to target anyone and everyone with a smartphone.
How to Identify a New Social Trend
Social trends can be found everywhere and are at the core of every piece of popular media. There were several years where conversations with strangers began by asking about the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
The universal recognition of major Netflix releases always leads to coworkers and classmates arguing over the details of Squid Game or Stranger Things. The trend itself is on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
Social trends are often found in hypercasual games with hits like Cookie Carver effortlessly combining the world of series and games.
From the latest TikTok sensation to YouTube viral videos and Twitter controversies, social media is a hotbed for new social trends. What were once considered inside jokes and quirky internet memes are now a part of mainstream media and audiences. Countless social media trends have risen and fallen over the years – Milk Crate Challenge, planking, ASMR, and many more.
Social Trends Are Found Everywhere
- Mainstream entertainment
- Social media
- Toys & fashion
- Major events
- And more!
While digital spaces and online communities have come to dominate much of the mainstream space, physical products – including toy fads and fast fashion – still play an important role in the growth and development of social trends.
From the gooey slime on Nickelodeon to a variety of collectable card games, there is always something new that kids beg their parents to buy. Even for adults, there are long hours of contemplation spent looking into the best looking phone cases and accessories.
Major events around the world also impact social trends and what is popular with mainstream audiences. For a few examples, take a look at how elections dominate news cycles, the COVID pandemic changed daily life, or how cryptocurrency suddenly became a sought after commodity.
Fitting Into the Hypercasual Market
While it’s easy to see how widespread social trends can be, the process of adapting the latest fad into a game requires the right eye and specialized know-how. Everything begins with choosing a trend that is easy to gamify.
For hypercasual success, the trend needs to be as broad as possible. Since the games target everyone with a phone – so in a sense, everyone – the trend cannot be niche. If only a certain group of people or a specific geographical area is concerned, it’s not a good choice for the hypercasual market.
Once a social trend with widespread appeal has been identified, the core concept of the trend also needs to be easily understandable. Similar to how hypercasual games themselves can be played without a tutorial, the targeted trend needs to be something people can intuitively understand.
When deciding to transform a social trend into a game it’s also very important to ensure it’s not a short-lived fad. If the hype for a new meme dies down in less than a week then your game will launch after people have already stopped caring about the trend.
Hypercasual Market Checklist:
- Widespread mainstream appeal
- Easily understandable and recognizable
- Staying power and long-term viability
- Positive results from data driven testing
When a new social trend is found, publishers begin by tracking its growth and analyzing the metrics. After crunching the numbers, the trend then needs to be defined and classified to ensure it meets the market’s expectations for hypercasual success.
With so many variables and time very short, having a data driven process helps developers and publishers quickly identify the right social trend for the hypercasual market.
When all the numbers point in the right direction, publishers will then look to gamify the idea and begin testing on the core concept. That usually takes the form of gathering real world analytics from a new game or by integrating the social trend into an established title.
Seeing how the gamified social trend performs with real players allows for further adjustments to better align the concept to the market’s expectations.
Examples of Gamified Social Trends
Using the process outlined above, publishers identify social trends and adapt them into hypercasual hits. For an example from TapNation, take a look at how we adapted the simple and amusing fun of pop it toys ASMR, and other social trends into Tippy Toe.
Cookie Carver from Casual Azur Games is a very recent example that gamified the hit series Squid Game. The hypercasual takes some of the key features that make the Netflix series so recognizable – a vaguely menacing series of challenges – and fits them into an intuitive and satisfying gameplay loop.
6ix9ine Runner from Gamejam is an example of hypercasual success that fully embraces the powerful presence of Tekashi 6ix9ine as a social trend. The publisher worked with the musician’s image and style to combine his characteristic bombast with relatively simple and easily recognizable hypercasual gameplay.
Publishers Help Identify Social Trends for Hypercasual Games
The latest social trends have a tendency to float in and out of the public’s consciousness incredibly quickly. The flash of excitement around something new is almost impossible to replicate but immediately recognizable.
Fitting into the hypercasual market while also capturing the hype of the latest social trends requires an expert eye and polished know-how.
Hypercasual publishers like TapNation work with developers to identify social trends and gamify their core components as quickly and reliably as possible. With a team of experts using a data driven process to track the latest trends, publishers know how to make sure a new game will catch the attention of mainstream audiences.
If you want to be a part of the next hypercasual hit and ride on the wave of a new social trend, contact us today for more information on how TapNation can help you publish your game!