Video Games

The Success Of The Subway Surfers Franchise

Subway Surfers is one of the most successful mobile gaming franchises to date. 

Having been released in 2012, when the mobile gaming scene was littered with Endless Runner titles, Subway Surfers was still unique enough to stand above the pack. The most downloaded game of 2019 has even had an urban legend attached to it.

What is Subway Surfers?

The mobile-based Endless Runner title, Subway Surfers entered the gaming scene during a period where Endless Runners were big in the mobile gaming arena. It came out alongside Temple Run and Sonic Dash but quickly rose to take the spotlight for its urban appeal.

subway surfers

Paying homage to modern street culture, fashion, and youth activities like skating, and getting in trouble with the authorities seems to have been a great move by the game’s developer, SYBO games. The game’s unique themes seem to have struck a chord with a younger generation of mobile gamers, as they have taken to the game in a big way.

Unbelievable success of the franchise

Subway Surfers, according to, has logged 3 billion downloads. The game, which also has 100 million active monthly users, and makes over $80 million in revenue, on the iOS platform alone, has been so successful that it has spawned various editions of the title. Each edition of the Subway Surfers franchise is themed to a certain continent.

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Sylvester Rishøj Jensen and Bodie Jahn-Mulliner founded SYBO Games – the studio behind the Subway Surfers title – in 2010 after winning a competition for a similar short film the previous year. The firm worked alongside games publisher Kiloo for two years, and the title saw its first release in 2012.

Subway Surfers – an urban legend

Mathias Gredel Norvig, the game stable’s current CEO, was a lead developer on the game during the early days. For a brief period, earlier this year, Subway Surfers became the subject of an urban legend that stated that the inspiration behind the game came from a grieving father/game developer who had lost his son in a similar train skating accident to the one depicted in the game.

The games house quickly took to Twitter to clear up any confusion that the rumor may have created. The game was designed to pay homage to street culture and diversity, according to the firm. SYBO CEO, Norvig claimed that “The influences for the game were a mix of passion, street culture, fashion, animation, music, graffiti, skateboarding.”

“We created Subway Surfers to pay homage to street culture and diversity. We feel that the game allows for creativity and fun in a safe and entertaining environment.” Tweet from SYBO Games, 30 July 2020.

Closing thoughts

The Subway Surfers title has almost become a household name, as families have competed against one another to complete its challenges. The game is so in tune with modern popular culture that it captured the most common aspects of modern youth. Because of that, it found global appeal and has been played on every continent on the planet.


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Ash Bonga

I'm a marginally adequate digital assets trader and writer specializing in blockchain and the crypto sphere. Occasional contributer for
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