“Amazing! I quit my job and divorced my wife because this app is so addicting!!”John
Last month we announced that Fun Run has been downloaded over 30,000,000 times! And if that's not enough, Fun Run has 10,000,000 monthly active users! Yes, we're pretty proud of what we've managed to achieve out of a study room at our university with $0 spent on user acquisition. So how did it all happen? In this blog post we'll share a few of the things that we believe are the reasons for our accomplishments with Fun Run.
One cold January morning in Trondheim, Norway, we started brainstorming about what the next game from Dirtybit should be like. The Apple App Store and Google Play already had thousands of games and it was hard to come up with an unique idea that didn't already exist. We started talking about what games we enjoyed when we were kids: Games like Zelda, Super Mario, Sonic, and Golden Eye came up, but the one that really stood out was the good old Mario Kart Race played with our friends. We did some research and couldn't find any games that provided the same joy as we remembered.
When discussing the gameplay, we all agreed that the game needed to be easily accessible. A race should only last for a minute, so the users could play the game during a break, on the bus, or even while sitting on the toilet! To make this happen, the loading time for the game had to be as short as possible. It should also have a really simple user interface and be easy to understand for first time players.
After more discussion and research, we decided on Fun Runs mission: Users should be able to enjoy a race with people, anytime and anywhere. To do this, the game had to be synchronous over the internet, which means that you can see every movements and actions from the other players in real-time, no matter where they are located in the world. However, the technical part of it was our biggest challenge. We didn't know how to start on developing the back-end system but we just started with a "learning by doing" approach.
In order to become popular and be the next topic of discussion when talking amongst friends, we planned to surprise the users; Why not combines cute forest animals with extreme violence like Happy Tree Friends? Fun Run was in the making!
Fun Run was launched September 5th, 2012, but it wasn't until November 25th, when we started our twitter campaign, that things started to pick up. Users were asked to tweet their username and #funrun for a chance to win 10,000 in-game coins. The competition resulted in 2x more downloads that day but suddenly users started to recruit their friends using #funrun on social media. The usage of #funrun increased every day. It actually led to #funrun trending worldwide on Twitter!
This was almost too good to be true. Every minute new tweets showed up, and the game quickly started to climb on the Apple App Stores rankings. December 11th the app reached the sweet #1 spot on App Store and we where a "Top 5" app for a whole month!
“Somebody get on #funrun so we can race!”Twitter user
Because of the real-time multiplayer functionality, users had the opportunity to play with up to three friends or random people. Due to no friends-integration through Facebook, users had to find other ways to broadcast their username in Fun Run to get more friends to play with. "Add me [username] #funrun" has been spamming many twitter feeds since November 2012. By doing so, even more potential users were exposed to the Fun Run addiction. After a while users started posting pictures from in-game play, themselves playing, and other things they connected with the Fun Run game.
More than 200,000 #funrun pictures related to the Fun Run game, are posted by fans on Instagram. We've recently created an album on Facebook featuring "Fun Run Creations" as well as reposting pictures on our Pinterest Board. We hope that this shows our appreciation to our players.
We wouldn't be where we are today without you becoming addicted to Fun Run. So thank you guys :-D
At last, here's an awesome fan video created by Team Reckless Abandonment: