Apple’s nod turns maddening Mr. Jump into an overnight sensation


The power of the Apple can be a crazy thing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
The power of the Apple can be a crazy thing. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Getting your game featured by Apple is the best way to jumpstart your indie game success. Sometimes, even games that seem rather basic at first glance can become powerhouses.

Mr. Jump is seeing some phenomenal success with five million downloads in the last five days since its release. It’s shaping up to be another Crossy Road-style success story, and the developers at 1Button games attribute the game’s instant success to Apple.

“I think that being featured by Apple in most countries has initiated the buzz,” says
Jérémie Francone, one of the co-founders at the studio. “That’s what really launched the game.”

Francone also says that once players get it onto their devices, they keep playing it. What could seem like a boring, one-tap game has gotten a lot of folks addicted.

“When it went viral,” he says, “there was a lot of sharing on Twitter and Youtube. Players keep playing it and sharing their annoyance, their joy or even their will to throw their phone by a window after being stuck for a long time.”

Smaller, indie developers get a ton of the spotlight (and a large stack of cash) these days as they release simple, brutally difficult games to viral acclaim, like Dong Nguyen’s Flappy Bird, Imangi Games’ Temple Run, and Hipster Whale’s Crossy Road. Each of these games have a one-tap mechanic and a difficulty curve that seems to appeal to a large group of gaming fans, who love to share their “extreme mental distress” when playing.

As Twitter user Chris Burgess says, “Mr. Jump can suck my balls.”

It took 1Button two months to create Mr. Jump, and now the team of three developers under 30 is raking in a good amount of green. From Thursday to Sunday, Francone told us, Mr. Jump generated about $74,000 in ad revenue and $5,000 via in-app purchases.

One other thing 1Button has in common with the other successes on the App Store? The game is wellpmade. While many of us might get bored after a couple of failed attempts at getting to the end of the level, the quality of the game itself — responsive controls, engaging art direction — speaks for itself, Apple feature, or no.

“We just want to make good games, not cash machines,” says Francone.