On May 24, 2012, a Copenhagen-based mobile game entertainment studio called SYBO launched Subway Surfers, an endless running game that would become the first Android title to break the billion downloads threshold four years later. By 2019, the game has already accumulated over 2.7 million downloads which eventually ballooned to over 3 billion in 2020. After a decade since its official launch, the game is still surfing on top of the digital video game market averaging over 100 million users per month.
To celebrate the game’s 10th year, SYBO plans to unleash a plethora of contents, events, characters, and items in the game. But before we jump to the game’s 2022’s roadmap, let us take a quick overview of the history of this highly-celebrated endless running game.
The Graffiti Troublemaker
The origin of Subway Surfers goes way back to 2009 during the Hamburg Animation Awards wherein Danish animators Sylvester Rishøj Jensen and Bodie Jahn-Mulliner took home the first prize for Best Animation. Their entry called “Trainbombing” featured a graffiti troublemaker being chased by a guard and his companion dog across the subway. A year later, the animators decided to transform their award-winning short film into a mobile game. It took SYBO three years to develop the game and by the time of its official launch, the endless running category was being ruled by another game called Temple Run.
Despite the fierce competition and the existence of already established video game titles, Subway Surfers was able to accumulate over 100 million installs eight months after its official launch. It may not be as impressive as Temple Run’s a million installs in three days, but the number of players who frequent the game provided enough word-of-mouth promotion that contributed to its growth. In an article published by gamesindustry.biz, Mathias GredalNørvig CEO of SYBO stated that they have been “adapting and evolving” the game “while keeping the nostalgia” alive. He also added that the fluid animation, brilliant graphics, engaging wholesome characters, and simplistic gameplay became the major factors of the game’s overwhelming success.
Keeping the Experience Fresh
The key element that makes Subway Surfers stand out from other endless running games is the constant drop of quality updates by Kiloo and SYBO. Subway Surfers, for the most part, is designed as an ever-developing game. Instead of creating a direct sequel, the developers made the gamble of having regular updates delivered in 3-4 weeks. This strategy allowed the developers to infuse improvements and new features into the game while keeping the original framework intact. All of these are done through the game’s World Tour concept which according to Christian Balazs (director of the game) is the main vehicle in the evolution of Subway Surfers.
A Decade & Over 3 Billion Downloads later
The community of Subway Surfers continues to grow after 10 years since its official launch. SYBO, for the most part, is planning to celebrate the game’s birthday all year round. In line with that, let’s check out the entire 2022 update roadmap of the game.
The North Pole
- The North Pole is a seasonal event that went live on 13 December 2022 up to 9 January 2022. This update initiated the year-long 10th-year celebration of Subway Surfers. Two new characters, Gingerbot and Clementine, came with this update. This update also featured the Ginger Boom, Choo Choo, and Rudy Hoverboards. The North Pole comes with a special marathon event that takes place in St. Petersburg. The marathon is a gift rush event wherein players must activate a Christmas Magic Board.
- Cairo is the 138th edition of Subway Surfers that went live on January 10 and ended on January 30, 2022. This edition introduced a new surfer named Hasina together with her Atomic Tile board. Returning character Festive Frank and his board camel were also part of this update. In addition, the Tokyo Tag Team and the Cairo marathon were also launched with this update. Cairo is also the first update of 2022 and is the first marathon update without an extra city.
Lunar New Year
- Following right after the Cairo event is the Lunar New Year. During this event, the tokens for Season Hunt were represented by paper lanterns. Characters Tiger, Ox, Rat, Rin, Qin, Hou, and a hoverboard are also included in the update. The Lunar New Year event began on January 31 and ended on February 20, 2022. The Lunar New Year is not part of the World Tour. It is also the third edition after Beijing and Journey to the East to celebrate the festive event.
- The Barcelona event went live on February 21 and ended on March 13, 2022. This event introduced a new surfer named Charlie along with his Astronave board. Two returning characters Diego and Roberto along with the mosaic and stallion boards were also introduced. Barcelona was initially launched in 2017.
- Vancouver is the 140th edition of Subway Surfers that went live on March 14 and will end on April 3, 2022. The event featured the surfers Olivia, Maia, Pink, and Zayn. The Moose, Maple Leaf, and Spring boards also came with the update. Vancouver was launched in 2014 to celebrate Spring. This event does not include a marathon but comes with a tag team challenge.
- Kicking off on April 4 is the Oxford event that will feature surfers George and Bonnie. The update will also include the Rolls Rabbit, and Bunny boards. Oxford is also the official Easter event of Subway Surfers so expect a lot of Easter eggs to come your way during the event.
As you may have noticed, SYBO is celebrating the tenth anniversary of Subway Surfers by re-releasing the best events in the game’s history. From the looks of it, the developers are planning a huge event by the end of the year that new and veteran players of the game should look out for.
Surf the Subway on Any Device
Subway Surfers is hands down one of the best endless running games available in the freemium market. For more than a decade, the humble game has evolved to become the most dominant title in its category. Studios Kiloo and SYBO did an amazing job in keeping the contents of the game fresh, interesting, and exciting for its massive player base. To that end, if you are on a hunt for a solid, challenging, exciting game that comes with quality updates that you can play, then Subway Surfers is for you. The best part is you can now download Subway Surfers on your PC free of charge.