Norway’s DirtyBit have previously had a huge success with their Fun Run mobile game, and now they are once again climbing the charts with Fun Run 2.
The original Fun Run launched two years ago and it has managed to get over 45 million downloads since then. It became a huge international success partially because of its viral spread through high schools. The game is a highly competitive kart racer in the vein of MarioKart, albeit more violent and with a quicker pace, making it perfectly suited for schoolyard competitions. With Fun Run 2 DirtyBit once again managed to capture the attention of highschoolers through a clever use of word of mouth.
According to the VP of Business and Marketing at DirtyBit, Aurora Klæboe Berg, and the 2D artist, Fredrik Fors Hansen, the combination of competitive social gameplay and word of mouth is a big part of what made the series a hit. “It´s real time multiplayer and therefore very engaging as people play against real people.” Klæboe and Fors explains. They continue to state that “For people to play with friends, they ask each other. This creates a word of mouth effect.”. This has helped the game make its rounds in the schoolyards, as the kids challenge each other, increasing the game’s potential reach with each new challenge.
Klæboe and Fors explains that they also used social media to reach their audience “We had Twitter competitions to have people spread the word about Fun Run using #FunRun (…)”. This approach proved to be effective as kids embraced the hashtag and used it “to recruit new friends, which emphasized the word of mouth effect.”.
Launching the sequel proved to be a matter of creating a similar, but improved, experience. DirtyBit wanted the sequel to stay true to the core of the original game, while improving upon all aspects of the game. “we wanted to generally improve upon most aspects of the original.” Klæboe and Fors explains, “The graphics and visual expression, the responsiveness and general feel of the game, and the flow in the levels were given a lot of attention, as well as several technical improvements.”.
The team also wanted to add some new elements to the mix, however. “We also made a lot of improvements apart from the core game itself like adding achievements and improving daily challenges, integrating and expanding a deep and scalable customization system, and greatly improve social aspects of the game.” Klæboe and Fors concludes.
It´s always hard to tell why a game becomes a success, but with Fun Run 2, DirtyBit managed to capture the appeal of the original while revamping the concept in a way that improved and streamlined the experience, making it ripe for recapturing the old users while also reaching a new audience in the process.