Popular mobile game Crossy Road has released a “UK & Ireland” update featuring 17 new characters based on familiar figures from the British Isles.
They include a busby-wearing Queen’s guard, a policeman, a Scottish piper, a chimney sweep and a “fancy lady”, as well as a packet of fish’n’chips. They join existing characters like the dragon, gravedigger, giddy goat and emo goose in the game.
Like those characters, the new British figures can be unlocked within the game by spending coins earned by playing or watching video ads, or bought as individual £0.79 in-app purchases.
Besides the British and Irish characters, the new update will let Crossy Road players play as a pair of recent web memes – infamously blue-and-black or white-and-gold garment “The Dress” and the two llamas involved in a televised chase in Arizona in February.
The British and Irish element makes this the second geographically-themed update for Crossy Road, following an Australian update in January that added a kangaroo, koala and platypus among other animals.
The game has been an all-ages hit on the app stores since its release, downloaded 50m times by early March, although its developer Hipster Whale tells the Guardian that the total now stands at more than 70m.
Crossy Road has also been a financial success for the independent firm, bringing in $10m of revenues in its first three months, including $3m from the video ads that players can choose to watch to earn coins.
“$10m is fantastic. That’s way, way, way, way, way more than we thought we would get. But someone on the free-to-play business would look at those numbers and think we could make a lot more per user,” said co-founder Matt Hall earlier in March.
“But, if we changed it … if we followed some of those best practices… if we sold coins and had a ‘save-me’ button and it felt like the other games, would anyone have cared?”
This article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 1st April 2015 14.07 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010