The popular mobile game “Subway Surfers” has joined a special club, as it has now been downloaded over a billion times. This makes the infinite runner the fourth most-downloaded mobile title of all time. Considering that the title was only released back in 2012, this makes the feat even more impressive since the game is only three years old.
“Subway Surfers” could have easily stayed in the shadow of similar titles like “Temple Run,” but it has instead helped improve what could be done with the particular mobile game genre. While the title doesn’t do too many new things for the infinite runner genre, the constant level updates, smooth controls and cartoony graphics led to one billion downloads and critical acclaim.
A report from Touch Arcade said that the numbers the title managed to reach could never be done with a paid mobile game. The success of “Subway Surfers” reportedly shows why free-to-play titles continue to dominate the mobile stores, as compared with other paid mobile apps.
While most free-to-play games "exploit" players to pay to get ahead, “Subway Surfers” has reportedly managed to find the perfect balance between challenging and addicting. Players can choose to pay for rewards but can also earn them through constant playing. This makes it a prime example of how infinite runners and free-to-play games should be made.
The game’s current theme, according to Gamasutra, is the “Subway Surfers World Tour,” which brings players to famous locales around the world. The next update brings players to Kenya, which should be interesting to play and see.
Each update from “Subway Surfers” usually adds something new to the mix, though for now it looks like the game is only changing up the location. Previous updates have also added new characters and power-ups, though it’s always possible that they will also pop up in the Kenya update.
“Subway Surfers” was conceptualized by Kiloo and was co-developed with Sybo. Kiloo has also worked on “Stormblades” and “Smash Champs,” which are currently available on the app store.