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Subway Surfers gets record 1 billion downloads on Google Play Store

The endless runner game Subway Surfers earned the title of the very first game in the Google Play Store's history to hit one billion downloads.

Published onMarch 16, 2018

  • Subway Surfers is an endless runner game first released in 2012.
  • The game is now the very first title in the Google Play Store’s history to reach one billion downloads.
  • The developers discuss plans for the franchise, including licensing deals and animated films.

Earlier this week, we published an article about how mobile gaming now makes twice as much money as console and PC gaming combined. If there were any skepticism about just how big mobile gaming is, we now have another statistic to add to the pile: Subway Surfers, the endless runner mobile game phenomenon, just hit one billion downloads on the Google Play Store.

Subway Surfers now has forever bragging rights as it is the very first game in the Google Play Store’s history to reach that milestone. According to a statement from Kiloo, which co-develops the game with Copenhagen-based studio SYBO Games, the one billion number refers to “the number of unique users who have installed the app on at least one device for the first time.” In other words, if you install the game on two devices with the same Google account attached to them, that still only counts as one download in the one billion total. However, if you have two devices with two different Google accounts associated with them, that would count as two downloads.

“We are thrilled to be the biggest game in the world on the Google Play platform. Surpassing one billion downloads is a historic accomplishment. In this case, history was written by a talented team of developers and a fantastic collaboration between SYBO and Kiloo,” says Jacob Møller, CEO of Kiloo.

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Subway Surfers is certainly not the first endless runner game (that record goes to Canabalt), but it is one of the earlier success stories in the genre. In the game, you are a graffiti-tagging city dweller, running through the subways of famous cities dodging cops, dogs, trains, and other obstacles. On the way, you collect coins and gain powerups.

The game’s colorful graphics, silly premise, and charming characters, made it a breakout success when it first dropped in 2012. But no one could have anticipated it becoming the biggest mobile game in the world. However, this success hasn’t stopped Kiloo and its partner developer SYBO from setting bigger goals in the future.

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“We have achieved greatness by combining our strengths at SYBO and Kiloo. The continued growth of the game and brand is our focus, and we are excited about future releases, and the animated short films that are launching later this year. The players will have even more great content to consume,” said Mathias Gredel Noervig, the CEO of SYBO.

Hopefully, the eventual licensing of the brand doesn’t lead to an oversaturation that ultimately hurts the franchise, like what happened with Angry Birds. Luckily for Kiloo and SYBO, they have the benefit of learning from other companies’ mistakes in that regard.

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