SMG Studio’s new mobile game Thumb Drift, has become the number one racing game in 60 countries and a top five game in dozens of countries including the USA and Australia, reaching two million downloads in its first week alone.
Thumb Drift is the fourth game developed by SMG, Soap Creative’s games studio. SMG Studios and Soap Creative are a company within Isobar, a global digital marketing agency under the Dentsu Aegis Network.
Thumb Drift is set to become the studio’s biggest game, beating One More Line, which achieved seven million downloads at launch in 2015. The game features 50 fully unlicensed cars (that’s a joke by the way) to take to the track in an endless high-speed score chase challenge.
Speaking of the early success of Thumb Drift, Soap’s founder Ash Ringrose said, “The numbers so far have been incredible. The game has taken off organically through sheer word of mouth.
“We’ve long known the power of mobile gaming and with our dedicated games team, we have been able to not just dip our toes in mobile gaming, but become one of Australia’s largest and most successful game studios.”
SMG’s recent successes in mobile gaming have caught the attention of global toy company Hasbro, with Soap completing the mobile/tablet version of their classic title RISK in 2015 and the team currently working on their other global toy brands in the gaming space.
The gaming industry is huge – people spent more on mobile games than they did on movie tickets going by the amount of revenue generated by the iOS App Store versus the Hollywood U.S. Box Office. Additionally, 80 per cent of the top ten paid iPhone apps of 2015 were games.
This suggests the potential opportunity for brands; providing them a valid reason to be on a consumer’s phone, whilst enabling an interactive and playful platform between the brand and its audience.
“We see games as more than just a piece of advertising. Thanks to the ubiquity of smart gadgets, everyone is now a gamer,” said Konrad Spilva, group CEO for Isobar Australia & New Zealand.
“With such high levels of popularity and engagement (median play time with Thumb Drift is 8 minutes), games are now one of the most effective vehicles for brands to engage with their audiences and can also be a revenue driver. Brand Commerce is the future and this is yet another avenue for us to help brands create consumer engagements that also provide an opportunity to transact.”