In recent months, the hyper-casual industry has seen a flurry of top charting games based on what are seemingly random activities and themes. So what do rappers, tie dying and ASMR all have in common? They are all themes and concepts that originated from viral social trends.
Propelled by social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, games based on viral trends such as DaBabyGame, Tie Dye and Makeover Studio 3D, have all seen top chart success. So how exactly do you identify a viral trend and how do you translate this into your next hyper-casual hit?
Read on as we explore why viral trends work so well, where to find them and how best to incorporate them into your next project.
Viral social trends appeal to the masses
Publishers and studios in recent months have cottoned on to the growing trend of game themes revolving around social or viral trends. So what makes these viral themed games so popular among users?
Generally speaking, these viral or satisfying themed games are based on trends found on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram & TikTok. Since the hyper-casual target demographic varies considerably in age, all three platforms are ideal mediums to ideate concepts since they cater to a wide range of demographics (from 13-65+).
Unfortunately, there’s no real rule or recipe when it comes to creating viral content, so it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes a trend popular. But once identified, these social trends transform into a theme or mechanic within hyper-casual games and can see huge success. This success can be attributed to the interactive experience that mobile gaming can deliver.
A hyper-casual game based on the viral trend takes this to the next level, allowing users to partake in a social trend they find entertaining or satisfying.
Seeing social media trends through videos on TikTok is one thing, but the interaction is limited to commenting, liking and sharing. A hyper-casual game based on the viral trend takes this to the next level, allowing users to partake in a social trend they find entertaining or satisfying.
Viral social trends appeal to the masses
Content on social media platforms is virtually endless and it can be easy to fall down the ‘TikTok rabbit hole and scroll on these platforms for hours with little results. Starting off, we’d recommend you begin your search for inspiration via more visually orientated platforms such as TikTok or Instagram. We also recommend streamlining your search through the use of hashtags, specific profiles and interacting with content which will help your search algorithm in the future.
Search efficiently with hashtags
Help streamline your search for viral trends through the use of specific hashtags that relate to viral trends. Some example hashtags include:
Depending on your social media platform, you may find that in the ‘Explore’ or search area of the app, the app actually has an option to search for videos automatically recognised as ‘trending’ or ‘viral’, based on the level of engagement and views. This is also another good place to start!
Interact with content to improve your algorithm
When you come across viral social trends that are within the area of your search, interact with them by commenting or liking to improve your feed’s algorithm. In the long run, the algorithm will do the hard work for you by showing recommended videos based on videos you’ve liked in the past. We even recommend creating a separate social account specifically for these videos if you’d like to keep your feed’s content divided.
How to incorporate them into your next gaming project
So you’ve come across a viral social trend and now it’s time to convert it into a hyper-casual game. Firstly, it’s important to understand whether it’s the theme or action (sometimes it can be both!) that makes the trend so appealing.
For example in 2020, Tie Dye clothing became fashionable again and appeared in multiple TikTok tutorials. In this example, it was the method of tie dying and seeing the final product unravelled that was both satisfying and entertaining to watch. Whereas in the DaBabyGame, the game is appealing specifically to the theme of a famous rapper currently trending in both music and pop culture.
We recommend assessing these two factors first and then considering what it is about each that is most appealing. Consider why the theme or action is entertaining or perhaps why it’s satisfying (we have a recent guide going into more depth on how to master ‘satisfying’ games here).
If all else fails and you are struggling to come up with a concept based on a trend, check out our Coda Partner Program where we hand select and deliver pre-tested concepts proven to be highly marketable (CPI <$0.20 & IPM 35+).