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Subway Surfers finds success by avoiding Angry Birds' multimedia approach

Subway Surfers Screenshot - Subway Surfers

Mobile game Subway Surfers celebrated its one-year anniversary today, and developer Kiloo reported some interesting facts about the game to date — and how its success story compares to Rovio Entertainment's Angry Birds, which is slipping from the charts.

The endless-runner Subway Surfers has achieved over 175 million downloads and 5.5 billion play sessions. It's sat among the top-50 highest-grossing apps for nine months now, with a 30-day retention rate of 70 percent (the industry average is 20 percent, give or take).

Kiloo and Rovio are both settled in Nordic countries — Denmark and Finland, respectively, which makes them something of rivals. Kiloo feels that its game is surpassing Angry Birds in the app stores because the company is focused on making good games while Rovio is more concerned with building a multimedia franchise — of movies, cartoons, and amusement parks, for example.

Angry Birds, meanwhile, has slipped out of the top-100 highest-grossing apps. While that's true according to App Annie's charts, it's important to remember that Rovio Entertainment has released a number of Angry Birds games. They're often paid downloads while Subway Surfers operates on the free-to-play model only, which can generate a lot of money.

The Danish company attributes its success to its co-production model with studio Sybo Games. Kiloo takes triple-A developers with console and PC backgrounds and pairs them with its own team, which specializes in free-to-play mobile gaming.

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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