The 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.

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; one or two experienced designers usually plant the seeds of top free gaming websites. 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 trendy game brand 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 for free games increases, so will their design creativity, detail, and complexity. 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,

  • Bloons pop 3
  • Boombot Games – 1 and 2
  • Hotcorn Games – 1 and 2
  • Potion Madness
  • Powerpool
  • Replay Racer – 1 and 2
  • Rings
  • Shinju
  • Sinta
  • Zeba

Ninjakiwi has established a loyal fan base, publishing its range across hundreds of medium- to large-sized gaming portals. One of their advertising platforms is through the previously mentioned Mochiads, a major advertising 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, 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 financed 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, including 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 as free online games. Paul Neave, a talented Flash developer, is responsible for such 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, one of the current five 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, it offers a compromise, allowing 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.

The free games market will continue its rapid growth in the foreseeable future, and more developers will enter it. Whether Flash will remain the market’s main publishing platform remains to be seen, but for now, it will keep its dominant position with all free online game developers using it. Fans can expect to find more elaborate free online flash games being introduced in the coming years as free games compete and encroach upon paid game audiences.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.