Are ‘Snackable’ Games Becoming the Hot New Trend for Mobile Engagement?

Simple iteration and social discovery are driving the latest trend in mobile gaming.

Like all things mobile, gaming has experienced a growth spurt this year, and is expected to continue growing. This “snackable gaming” trend could provide a way for marketers to get into the field of mobile gaming without much overhead. Could this be a way to encourage more engagement, and provide new revenue opportunities for brands?

Snackable games are mini-games that appear within a larger app, or in browser, and provide a few minutes of simple gaming. These games are often free to play, casual, and facilitate interaction between socially connected users, even if it’s just beating a friend’s high score.

According to Bozena Rezab, CEO of mobile gaming app platform Gamee, the simplicity and social discovery of mobile games is the driving force behind the growing trend:

These games are playable with a click, so that there is no barrier to install or set up anything. The discovery is another factor: most people play games they see their friends are playing and this is what makes them come back and try again, the competitiveness.

For those who don’t want to be tied down to a longer game, the snackable games seem like a good fit. Rezab shared with SocialTimes that people on the Gamee network spend roughly 25 minutes per day on these mini-games, broken into 5 to 7 sessions per day. Rezab said that 11 percent of the daily active users are new, 89 percent returning.

Because of the light infrastructure required for these games, they could become branding opportunities. Creating a snackable game allows companies to enter the market without the high cost and risk associated with developing a full app, and with social integration could increase brand recall. However, it’s important to still create a game, and not just an extended marketing message.

Rezab told SocialTimes:

Pushing on branding too hard does not pay-off. Nobody wants to collect your logos. Brands should rather focus on the emotion the game creates, this is what [users] get connected with.

While this may seem like a fresh field for marketers to move into, there are some caveats to keep in mind. Traditional mobile game development is maturing, and as such growth rates have started to plateau, and development costs are increasing. This could easily cut into the profit margins for companies dedicating small budgets to pilot programs.

Additionally, with a more mature market gamers may start looking for a more sophisticated gaming experience. Creating another Flappy Bird, or trying to become the next Clash of Clans may be fruitless, since those games are either already best in their category or stale in the eyes of gamers.

It’s entirely possible that marketers can create snackable games that increase brand awareness, and provide a great experience for the customer. But in a largely untested market, it’s important to dedicate the necessary resources and to innovate. Innovation in the mobile space requires much more than just phoning it in.

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.