The Surfers Made It – Lessons From Kiloo’s Success

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Subway Surfers

With the crowd moving into the mobile gaming industry, the competition within is growing rapidly. The Big brands like Disney, Electronic Arts and Activision are likely to be seen at the top. So what is it that made Kiloo achieve the unpredictable?

Jacob Moller, founded Kiloo in 2000 in his one room apartment located in Denmark, released ‘Subway Surfers’ for iOS platform by May 2012 and presently is ranked number 1 in 50 countries with more than 130 million downloads i.e. 4 times the total population of Denmark , 25 million daily active users and a forecast of 250 million downloads end of 2013. This is not it. Subway Surfers was found to have 3 times better retention rate than other Google Apps.  91% of the gamers played the game on the second day and over 60% of them after 30 days.

Subway Surfers

How did Moller do things differently?

Co-development was one of the major key elements for Kiloo’s success. The term co-development is not new to the IT industry. It was popular as ‘paired programming’ started by Silicon Valley. Kiloo was smart to try it on mobile gaming. Most of the apps by Kiloo are partnered with SYBO Games. Kiloo had the engineering expertise and SYBO had the aesthetic sense.SYBO gave the design, art and characters while Kiloo took care of the user interface. Together Kiloo and SYBO had leveraged the skills and fine tuned the product.

Moller’s main focus was to increase the retention rate. He aimed at producing free-to-play gaming experience. After loading Subway Surfers, the very next page a gamer sees is the Splash page. This allows the gamer to start playing in an instant. This gave a fresh experience to the gamer rather than a sense of stagnation.

Moller found majority of the gamers prefer the classic cartoon style.  Subway Surfer’s was inspired by the short award winning fiction film created by SYBO Games. The film portrayed a spray painting kid chased by a guard. The story play along with vivid colors, humor and a Tom and Jerry sense together gives you the Subway Surfers.

Altogether Subway Surfers was created over 5-6 months. But the game is still ON!

Here’s the launch trailer again: