Growing Popularity of Free & Casual Games

Free online internet gaming has exploded over the past ten years and comprises many game developers, publishers, web portals, and millions of casual game players. Talented game developers are in more limited supply than publishers and portals. Yet, they are steadily growing in store as more companies and brands look for sponsorship deals with high-quality upcoming free games.

The Hyper-Casual Gaming Industry: Past, Present, and Future | ironSource

Wide brand exposure can be gained from sponsoring free online games, and more companies are looking towards game sponsorship and in-game product placement as a serious advertising platform. Portals are in the greatest supply, with many gaming-orientated sites offering the developer’s creations. Indeed, some game developers also offer their web portals, such as Ninjakiwi and Armor Games. These are two more popular and innovative gaming developers, with Armor Games holding a top 1000 traffic rating.


Behind such successes are talented flash game designers and coders; usually, one or two experienced designers plant the seeds from which top free gaming websites flourish. Casual gaming, free and paid downloads, has become so huge online that the genre has the greatest presence on the world’s most highly trafficked websites.

Ninjakiwi has an in-house team of developers; they own the top-rated games named Bloons. The first Bloons game was introduced in mid-2007, and the series has been played hundreds of millions of times. Suppose you compare such an audience exposure rate to the most popular video watched on YouTube. In that case, it is easy to see why advertisers turn to free online games to reach global audiences. What’s more intriguing are the demographics behind casual game players, with a considerable percentage of the audience being young adults. This demographic has caught the attention of many blue-chip companies, including mobile giants Orange and O2, who regularly advertise through Mochiads – an in-game preloading ads platform.

As the advertising revenue increases for free games, so will the creativity, detail, and complexity of their design. Developers are creating games targeting certain age ranges, including teens, young adults, and mums.

Ninjakiwis’ list of games is expanding rapidly. As their brand has received greater exposure over the past year, they have branched out from their original success of Bloons to produce other games with different concepts; some have been received with more enthusiasm than others. Some of their accomplishments include:

Bloons – Including the player packs, more blooms, and even more blooms, tower defense games, hot air balloons, balloons pop 3
Boombot Games – 1 and 2
Hotcorn Games – 1 and 2
Potion Madness
Replay Racer – 1 and 2
Ninjakiwi has established a loyal fan base whose range is published across hundreds of medium to large-sized gaming portals. One of their advertising platforms is through the previously mentioned Mochiads, a major platform for game developers and game publishers who earn revenue from publishing games. A small advert is shown while each game loads in a web browser; developers and publishers earn money from game impressions and advert clicks.

The other free games developer previously mentioned, Armor Games, is the larger of the 2. Armor develops in-house games and sponsors independent developers, funding their creations and offering revenue sharing across their advertising platform. Armor Games has a much more extensive range of games than Ninjakiwi and has supported the result of some of the most imaginative games on the internet. A list of some of their best games is compiled below:

  • Armed with Wings – 1 and 2
  • Crush the Castle
  • Hedgehog Launch
  • Hedgehog Launch 2
  • Fancy Pants Adventure – 1 and 2
  • Gemcraft
  • Gemcraft Chapter 0
  • The Last Stand 1 & 2
  • Pillage the Village
  • Sonny
  • Sonny 2
  • Warfare 1917

It is common to find developers and portals sharing each other’s games. This idea was originally invoked by the biggest casual free game provider on the internet – Their success grew from allowing web admins to publish their games on thousands of smaller sites. Sharing and creating viral copies of successful games can prove a very lucrative online strategy.

There are many more high-quality game developers, publishers, and portals; the ones worth mentioning include Crazy Monkey Games, Addicting Games, Newgrounds, and Kongregate.
Free game production has also seen the remake of many classic arcade games, which will delight fans of the 80s arcade.

Classic games such as PacMan, Ms. PacMan, Space Invaders, Pong, and Frogger have all been remade using Flash and are now available for free online games. Paul Neave, a talented flash developer, is responsible for such flash reproductions.

More comprehensive flash gaming communities have sprung up within this landmark ten year period of growth. One example of a trendy community is MechQuest, which is one of 5 flash games created by Artix Entertainment. MechQuest is an online Fantasy/Sci-Fi Web RPG game that offers both a free and premium paid side. The game is built using Flash and has millions of members in its community. Striking a balance between casual and hardcore gameplay aims to offer a compromise that allows players who do not wish to spend all day at their PCs a simple multiplayer experience.

Of course, free online games such as MechQuest, AdventureQuest, DragonFable, ArchKnight, and are a step in the right direction for what online gaming should be about (if we are looking from a healthy perspective); they offer gamers a balanced dosage of online fun which don’t require a lifelong commitment to progress and gain in-game rewards. The opposite would be games such as World of Warcraft, designed to reward excessive gameplay.

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