In mid-January Imangi Studios surprise released Temple Run 2 [Free], the sequel to the 170 million+ selling behind-the-back runner that started it all: Temple Run. It amassed 6 million downloads in just the first 24 hours of its release, and went on to total 20 million by the end of its first weekend of being available, news that kind of blew us away when we heard it.

Well, this is even more impressive. About a week after the iOS launch of Temple Run 2, the game landed on the Google Play Store for Android and the Amazon Marketplace for the Kindle, where it was also quickly devoured by hungry Temple Run fans. Yesterday, just 13 days after the initial release of Temple Run 2, Imangi announced that they had broken the 50 million download mark across all three platforms collectively, making it the fastest growing mobile title in history.

The previous holder of that honor was Angry Birds Space early last year which hit the 50 million mark after just 35 days of being on sale. While I think it's not entirely the same thing comparing a paid game like Angry Birds Space with a free title like Temple Run, I still can't help but be completely impressed with how popular the new Temple Run has turned out to be.

I mean, not that it shouldn't be or anything. We thought it was fantastic in our review. But 50 million copies downloaded in less than two weeks is just insane. It'll be interesting to watch if it can keep up its momentum and where it will go from here, but needless to say Temple Run 2 is another massive success, and if you haven't yet given it a look then you should definitely get on that.

  • Rev Maynard

    Shouldn't that read: "But 50 million copies given away for free in less than two weeks is just totally believable and expected!" 50 million is a huge number for sure, but they're giving away a fun game..so I would expect they might "outsell" a game that costs cash out of the gate.

    What I'd like to know is how much money has it made? This type of game gives me no incentive to purchase things in app because everything game be unlocked through playing it..and isn't that why I'm playing a game in the first place?

    • Bool Zero

      Very true! How many times a game has been downloaded is about as relevant as how many times it is been deleted! I'm part of that 50 million, but i am also part of the unmentioned statistic that deleted from my device as quickly (not that it was bad, just that in such a saturated genre to me it didn't stand out as much as its first entry). The true success is in what that converts to in IAP sales and revenue generated from it. With free to play games like this it really should come down to revenue generation, not download numbers as being news worthy.

    • dancj

      True, but it's currently sitting at #5 in the Top Grossing chart so it is definitely making good money - for no apparent reason. (Not a criticism of the game - just that I have no idea why anyone would buy an IAP for it)

    • HelperMonkey

      Because it's free it should just be "expected" to get 50 million downloads in two weeks?
      There are a lot of free games out there, Rev. None of them are the fastest growing mobile game in history. Nor should anyone expect them to be.

    • jclardy

      I don't think people are quite seeing the pure magnitude of 50 million. Maybe if I write it out. 50,000,000.

      50,000,000 have at least played this game once. In a matter of only two weeks. There are news outlets that don't get that kind of reach, and this is an iPhone game. And even better, one put together by a small team.

      And as for the incentive to purchase - it takes many runs to get enough coins to unlock everything. Some people want to just jump in and compete with their friends massive high scores...and if you just download the game you aren't going to do that with out spending some money. And with the numbers, even if only one tenth of a percent of people bought only $1 worth of goods that would be $50,000 gross in two weeks. But I would suspect the percentage is higher along with the average spend.

      • Bool Zero

        When I start seeing Temple Run 2 merchandise in stores, malls and outlets, I will concede that it has achieved something monumental. 50 million downloads, even for an app means nothing without time, standing and brand recognition. Lets see how that 50 million holds up over the year to becoming brand recognition. I can walk up to a person with a smart phone any day of the week and find someone who has not clue what a "Temple Run" is. Conversely, I can find a person who has never played an Angry Birds game but know what it is. 50 million downloads doesn't matter for spit if the games not going to last in folks collective memories or on most folks devices longer than the two weeks that it took to garner that 50 million downloads to begin with. I'm not saying the game doesn't have lasting potential, but I doubt it will leave a major mark in gaming history when it all comes down to it other than an impressive download statistic...

      • jclardy

        I don't think that will really happen, if not only because TR characters aren't nearly as iconic as Angry Birds. If you saw a Guy Dangerous plush in a story most people would think it is Indiana Jones.

        But maybe we just aren't on the same page...I don't think Touch Arcade or I are saying that TR is a gaming masterpiece never to be duplicated again, we are just saying that it has achieved an impressive feat for the game and for the iOS platform.

        Lets construct a list of all games that have been downloaded 50 million+ times in two weeks:

        Temple Run 2

        Well that was quick. The thing is there are not many games that have even achieved 10 million downloads in their lifetime, let alone 50 million.

        The Halo franchise has sold 40 million copies over the years leading up to 2011. Yes, I realize that people pay money for xbox games, but this is astonishing that more people may have played TR2 in two weeks than have played Halo since its inception. Doesn't that seem in the least bit remarkable to you?

      • Bool Zero

        Good arguments. My point is that it is free. 50 million downloads of a free app doesn't impress me. Ay other example makes sense to be impressed because they ask some investment of the consumer other than typing in their password to their account when they click buy on the big "FREE" button.

      • HelperMonkey

        How about we ignore your issue with free vs paid and clarify that this is also the fastest downloaded FREE game ever. You seem to think that a free game should expect these numbers, but there are a hell of a lot of other free games out there, and how many of those have been downloaded 50 million times in two weeks? Zero. None. This has never happened before. No other free game has ever had this many downloads this quickly. To expect them to because they are free is to have foolish expectations.

      • Boardumb

        I'm not sure what country you're in but there IS Temple Run merchandise in stores. Not Angry Birds level yet, but it's prominent. Also, I own about a dozen iOS game t-shirts and my Temple Run one gets commented on every single time I wear it.

      • toxiccheese

        Well there is a Temple Run board game... If they managed to make a board game from an endless runner, one can only imagine that there is much more merchandising to follow.

  • PureRumble

    Endless runners, every time I read that my mind just zones out.... thanks but no thanks

    But I get it if it is just me in this world :-

    • Bool Zero

      You are not alone, I don't get the blind love for the genre either. With such a saturated genre as endless runners, the game has to be something special to grab me now and I just can't throw platitudes and kudos to every entrant in the genre simply because they tow the line or are serviceable. For me Temple Run 2 had the burden, potential and backing to do something special, but it seems largely phoned in with a lot of missed opportunities to set the new bar for the genre like its predecessor did. Is it a good game? Sure, but there are a lot of "good" games in the genre already and some that personally feel better; some even great. At the end of the day though, they will be successful because they have the marketing and name recognition and most people are will throw five stars at just "good"...

  • chosaioin@lycos.co.kr

    5 Sec Gamehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=w_9QqjBhWrI

  • Contest Geek

    Hmm...how many articles on TR2 already on TA? Anyone keeping count?

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Please accept my humble apologies for devoting resources to what is quickly turning into the most popular video game of all time.

      • Karzay

        That's a bold statement. Only time will tell.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp
      • Karzay

        Cool. My point being is that it's subjective and just because someone downloaded a game, it doesn't mean they liked it. It could also be the most deleted game of all time.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        You could say the exact same thing about games that people purchase as well. I know I've bought tons of video games I didn't like and never played again after the first session.

      • Chester_Copperpot

        Which is why we all love Sanuku.

      • Karzay

        You could. Do you think if Temple Run charged a fee to download it, would it have reached 50 million downloads so quickly?

        If you went to a grocery store and they gave out free samples of a new product, and 50 million consumers took that free sample, could you confidently say that product is one of the most popular products of all time?

      • KevinBarton

        It's sad to see such a perfectly reasonable person such as yourself completely misunderstood.

      • KevinBarton

        It is sad to see such a perfectly reasonable person such as yourself so misunderstood.

      • Karzay

        I think you are biased toward TR2, and you are looking for every opportunity to promote it. It's shameless. People come here for news, not to hear about what game Eli really likes and wants everyone to really like.

      • Boardumb

        As Eli said any coverage we give TR 2 is entirely insignificant to the game's success. People are downloading it anyway. Our audience is but a tiny sliver of TR fanbase. Miniscule. So your conspiracy theories really don't make sense at all.

        What I find strange is YOUR bias against the game. I mean why does it bother you so much that this game is successful? Must be some hidden agenda you have, yes? It's pretty shameful to see such a bias :/

      • Karzay

        How much influence or significance TA has is besides the point. I didn't state one way or the other whether how I feel about Temple Run 2. I'm questioning Touch Arcade's ethics because of the amount of coverage given to a single title. They don't even promote their own app this much.

        Why are you trying so hard to defend TR2 and TA unless you are biased yourself? Shameful indeed.

      • Boardumb

        Hah calm down guy I'm just messing with you. I just find it amusing when people spout nonsense because they figure there MUST be some shady goings on in the tiny world of Toucharcade. We post about it because it's one of the most popular iOS games, and these crazy stats are really interesting to me. To other people too. You don't find it interesting and that's fine, but it's beyond me why you would spend your limited time on this Earth arguing about it. Just ignore the stories that don't interest you, ya know? Easy! Video games are fun, the negativity is really weird to me. That's all.

      • Karzay

        No worries. I'm no where near as upset as you imagine me to be. I find this discussion amusing too, but for other reasons than yourself.

        I think it's too soon to say TR2 is one of the most popular games of all time, when all that download stats express is that a lot of people were willing to give the game a try. 50 million free downloads of TR2 isn't comparable to 18 million sold copies of MW3 or 18 million sold copies of Super Mario Bros. 3.

        That's what I meant by the "bold statement" comment.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        This is the most popular game on the App Store right now, and the fastest downloaded game of all time. It's newsworthy, I'm sorry if you disagree but our traffic metrics show people want to read stories about this game in a BIG way. I think it's more ethically questionable to not give our readers what they're looking for out of some kind of weird crusade of not posting about popular things to placate a incredibly vocal minority of internet commenters.

      • Karzay

        All valid points, but I wasn't disputing what is newsworthy. I disagree with your comment about it being "the most popular game of all time."

        Popular meaning: regarded with favor, approval, or affection.

        All-time meaning: of all the time up to and including the present.

        You don't have enough of the right stats to conclude that. A lot of people tried Crystal Pepsi, but looking back, can we say it was popular?

        All you have are stats showing a lot of people were willing to give the game a try. Your comment isn't based on conclusive facts.

        So I say again, "It's a bold statement and only time will tell."

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        "People come here for news, not to hear about what game Eli really likes"

        Pretty much sounds like you are in fact disputing this is newsworthy. The thing is though, you will never know how many people have deleted it just like we don't know how many people keep it installed and play it every day. The only actual fact we have is 50 million downloads in 13 days, meaning it has been the most popular game in that particular timeframe ever. Maybe that continues, or maybe it bottoms out in a week. Who knows. One thing to consider is that it's been in the top of the top grossing since it came out too, and in general people don't spend money on something they hate and delete 5 minutes later.

      • Karzay

        50 million downloads is newsworthy, but I think a lot (not all) of the previous coverage was unnecessary. If you guys really like TR2 and enjoy discussing, just be straight forward about it. Otherwise, it makes people think you are hiding more than are.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        "If you guys really like TR2 and enjoy discussing, just be straight forward about it. Otherwise, it makes people think you are hiding more than are."

        What exactly do you mean? We've never tried to hide that we like Temple Run 2, why would we? What is there to hide? It would be super cool if you could clarify wtf you are even talking about.

      • Karzay

        What I meant by that is that your biases cause you to cover one app more than others, and throughout our entire conversation, with every excuse you gave to why you are covering TR2, not once have you mentioned it's because you like it. Maybe you thought it was obvious or maybe you thought it wasn't relevant. Maybe you wanted to avoid a discussion about biases, being a news site, as it could eventually lead to some of your readership losing trust and feeling your being unfair.

        I don't think there is a huge conspiracy going on or that you are consciously trying to hide anything. Nor would I really care. I just find it amusing is all.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Also, you're mincing his words. "…what is quickly turning into the most popular video game of all time." isn't the same as "this is the most popular video game of all time"

      • Karzay

        I didn't use "this is..." It's close, but now you are nitpicking. Are you suggesting that he really meant something else by his statement?

        The fact is, no one can be sure whether or not they like Temple Run 2 until they download it and play it. A lot of people downloading it, doesn't necessarily mean it's going to turn into one of the most popular games of all time. All you can really conclude from Eli's statement is that he is being hopeful and he really likes TR2.

        If people had to pay the same price as they did for any one of the best selling game of all time, TR2 wouldn't even come close.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        "I disagree with your comment about it being 'the most popular game of all time.'"

        He didn't SAY it was THE most popular game of all time, just that it's on its way to being that. Getting 50 million downloads is monumental, there are only a handful of games that have ever reached that pinnacle, free or not. If it continues at this pace then it could be the most popular of all time, is what I took away from his comment.

        "If people had to pay the same price as they did for any one of the best selling game of all time, TR2 wouldn't even come close."

        You have absolutely no way of knowing this.

        But these are things I really don't care about. Maybe it goes on to being the best selling game ever, maybe it doesn't. Who knows.

        What bothers me is that you first say that this story isn't newsworthy, then you flip flop and say it IS newsworthy. But then you question our ethics and accuse us of having a bias for posting about it. But didn't you say it was newsworthy? I mean, you're pretty confusing.

        You're trying to make it seem like we've posted about this game an insane amount of times or something, but we really haven't.

        I posted about the NZ launch because it was a surprise (which is sadly pretty rare nowadays) and I happened to be awake at 3am when it hit, which unfortunately I usually am anyway working on stuff for TA. We have a huge international audience and I figure there'd be people out there that would appreciate knowing about a surprise release of a sequel to one of the biggest franchises in mobile. And there were plenty of people who did appreciate that heads up. That's the kind of thing we're here for.

        Then we included it in the coming tonight post for that week - totally normal, why would we exclude it from the group of weekly releases?

        Then we did a TA Plays. Also a totally normal thing. Reviews take time and it's a way to give people a look at a game quickly after it comes out. We do this with LOTS of games.

        Then I did a special "out in the US" post for it and that terrible Final Fantasy game. This is mostly as a benefit to our app users as if those games (or any of the ones on the Coming Tonight post) are on their watch list, they'll get a push notification that it's out because of this post. Also it's just a nice heads up for US gamers to let them know a game is available, as sometimes it's a long and painful wait from NZ to US if you're really excited about a game coming out. Again, we do this sort of thing for LOTS of games.

        Then we posted about it being downloaded 20 million times in the first 4 days, because that is pretty amazing. I'd post that story for any game that did that.

        Then we posted our review. I don't think I have to explain that that's also something we do here.

        Then we posted a tips type guide for Temple Run. This is a feature we've been toying with lately and have done for some other games, and would like to do more regularly with more games. It's been an incredibly well-recieved feature so far.

        That brings us to this 50 million downloads in 13 days stories here. Again, I'd post this story for just about any game that managed this feat.

        By my count that's 8 stories. It may seem excessive because it was within a pretty short timespan, but they're all pretty standard stories that we would post about ANY game. To suggest that there's any sort of ulterior motive is really insulting, and just plain rude.

        Oh and heads up, TR 2 just got an update so expect a post about it on Monday. We typically post about significant updates to popular games, too.

      • Karzay

        Please read my initial response to Eli. It's his opinion that TR2 is on it's way to becoming one of the most popular games of all time. I said it was a bold statement and we'll see. (Of course I'm paraphrasing.)

        It should have ended there, as neither of really know for sure how any of this will turn out. It was a difference of opinion.

        Than Eli posted a link to a wiki page with no explanation on who it supports his theory. My opinion is that you can't compare paid games where people actually paid $30-60 of their hard earn cash with free downloadable games. They are not the same thing. The only way it would be comparable is if TR2 was also a paid game or all the games on the wiki page he linked to where free games.

        If TR2 2 was a paid game, I seriously doubt as many people would have downloaded as they did. If TR 2 had the ability to make that kind of money, the developers would have released it as a paid game. We both know how the iOS market works and why developers are choosing freemium business model. You could argue otherwise, but then that is another difference of opinion.

        Also, you can't directly conclude how "popular" something by how many people own something. You can assume it's popular, but it's inconclusive unless you survey and ask directly if people like it or not. I refer you to my Crystal Pepsi example in a previous comment.

        Now in regards to me changing my opinion about this article being noteworthy, I never did such a thing. I did not say this article wasn't noteworthy. Read through my comments again. You are mistaking. I assume you mixed me up with another commenter. I actually agreed with you the first time you brought it up.

        Now after reading your explanation behind covering TR2 previously, I can understand why it was done, but I still feel it was excessive. Writing about updates to an App is a waste of time, in my opinion. The only people who care about it, are fans of the game, and they probably already know when the app is updated, either through push notifications or through the AppStore itself. Many of the Apps actually tell you directly thought the app. I think such articles are unnecessary and redundant. You obviously feel otherwise or you wouldn't be doing it. We could debate it, but I feel it would be a further waste of both of our time.

        Whether or not you write more about TR2, I could really care less. Of course, I might think it will be excessive if you consider how much coverage you continue to give the app, but you have your reasons and I expect you to continue on with your business without much consideration to my opinion. I'm not going to write you hate mail or boycott your site. I'm not going to call you names or whatever angry readers do. Honestly, I'm not upset over any of this. I don't mind people disagreeing with me. I welcome it.

        That being said, I think we should probably move on to other topics and other business as we are not going to see eye to eye on this one. I respect you for standing up for Eli and I appreciate you taking your time discussing matters with me. Best of luck to you.

      • Bool Zero

        Perhaps, but one could argue that download rate and popularity are not synergistic or correlative to popularity, nor is one indicative of the other... Especially nowadays with the rapidity of the internet, people throw a five star rating at a game without even playing it or playing it for barely five minutes; or conversely throw a one star out for trivial perceived deficiencies in an app...

      • Dams

        Well, if you do more news about it, it will be even more successful. The egg, the chicken...
        I believe that small dev house deserve more coverage than big commercial license like this one.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        TouchArcade isn't capable of driving even a remotely noticeable chunk of 50m downloads. Arguing over who "deserves" coverage is weird. We cover what we think is interesting, how big or small a studio is has absolutely zero bearing on what we write about.

        It's also pretty laughable to suggest that Imangi and Temple Run are a "big commercial license" and not indie as last I checked they're a three person company operating out of their house.

      • Dams

        My bad, I though they were bigger. I apologize.

    • HelperMonkey

      Six.
      That's one for every eight million downloads.
      If that many people are interested in the game, why shouldn't TA cater to that interest?
      I don't care for the game or the genre, but it is kind of a big deal.

  • chosaioin@lycos.co.kr
  • Bob

    I download at least one or two free games every week that I completely forget to even fire up and play. Meaningless stat is meaningless.

  • Jensen_G

    The article says 50 million copies "sold," but since it's a free game are they talking about 50 million IAP sold and if so which IAP?

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Good point, sold wasn't really the right word.

  • NotYou

    I remember when the word game Imangi was released (a game I've always loved, btw). With that humble start on a new platform, I never would have expected they'd be able to boast that kind of success just a few years later.
    Congrats and then some!

  • Briker Ed

    I deleted it from my iDevice in less than two weeks. Where's my headline?!

  • JantShira

    I was one of those 50 million but I did delete it pretty quickly. I'd be interested in knowing how many of those 50M are still on devices, and how many of them are still played. When a game is hyped AND free, most people probably don't mind checking it out. How long it actually lasts would be a better measure of its success. That or how many IAPs were made...

  • Colin Walsh

    The fastest downloaded game in iOS history isn't newsworthy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rhysdavies Rhys Davies

    Amazing news for an indie studio! With 50 million downloads, of course people are going to be interested in reading about it...

  • jamarohn

    If you got nothing nice to say, why even bother posting it? Bizarre.

    As for the game, I have a friend who doesn't own a single console and he loves it. His kid loves it, and so does his wife (I don't know if they went for the IAP, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did). And they would pick this over Walking Dead, NOVA, or Bastion.

    This article tells me that there are more non-gamers than gamers out there, and the type of casual gameplay that's successful in tapping that market.

    Personally I never got into it, and never liked Angry Birds either. That's why article like this are insightful, rather than disagreeable.

    • nini

      Yeah, casual gamers ruin everything. Jeez, quit whining because this fails to scratch your hardcore gamer itch.

      • Chester_Copperpot

        He wasn't whining, just calling things as he sees them. You and Karzay are reacting to negativity that I don't perceive. Go eat a Popsicle or something. Relax.

    • Karzay

      "If you got nothing nice to say, why even bother posting it? Bizarre."

      I suppose you don't see the irony in your own statement.

      Also, non-gamers don't casually play games. There's no tapping into that market, because it doesn't exist.

      Temple Run 2 is a casual game aimed at casual gamers.

      • jamarohn

        If I offended anyone, I'm sorry. Certainly wasn't my intention.

        I suppose it depends on how we define the archetype (or persona) for the various gaming market. When I think of my friend who doesn't typically show any interest in games across various platforms, but gets hooked on something on the ipad, to me that constitutes a gaming market that's being tapped that's unexpected to me.

      • jamarohn

        I Reread your comment and thought of something else. I don't think it wasn't that long ago where we didn't even have a category called "casual games" until Nintendo broke into that market with the DS and its various titles in 2004.

        Fast forward to now, where tablets are making into households that don't even own PCs. The general mindset is that these devices are becoming appliances, as opposed to "computers" in the traditional sense. I think the gaming market can be a lot larger than it appears.

      • Karzay

        Casual games have been around for a long time. Pac-Man (1980) is widely considered to be the first casual game. Tetris (1984) is one of the better known games in the genre. I'm not sure when we started labeling games "casual," but it was well before 2004. If Nintendo had anything to do with it, they did it in 1989 with the original Gameboy and Tetris.

    • Chester_Copperpot

      "If you got nothing nice to say, why even bother posting it? Bizarre."

      My guess is, to the avid gamer, all the reporting on this game is akin to all the reporting we used to get on Beanie Babies or Tickle Me Elmo. That stuff appealed to a lot of people, but to me it seemed a waste of time on everyone's part. It just follows that people voice annoyances when they have a forum for it. :)

  • Galsia

    I love this game and am glad it has done so well. What I have found enjoyable out this one is that they have tinkered with the first one a little bit and added some extras that incorporate so well into the frenetic pace of the running. Success stories such as this deserve to be highlighted.

  • Dueler

    I seriously don't get the appeal, I didn't like Temple Run because it felt so unpolished so naturally when the sequel was going to hit I was completely psyched but ended up deleting it after about half an hour. Still feels like it needs more polish and that's something only the original can get away with because of its age.
    Pitfall! Beats temple run in leaps and bounds if you ask me.

  • Gamer_Kev

    Guess I aught to give this one a check and see if it supports iCade like the original. I didn't really care for the original until I played it using the iCade. Played that way, it really feels like I'm playing an arcade game that might have showed up in the twilight years of the arcade.

  • Boardumb

    Boy it sure is fun posting about Temple Run!

    • jamarohn

      Yes. And IAP and Star Command. Weeeeeeee!

  • MidianGTX

    In other news, Bieber is still rockin' the music world.

    • Chester_Copperpot

      Who?

  • Decoy_Octopus

    Of course it was downloaded 50 million times. It's free

    • HelperMonkey

      Aaaand we're back to the beginning...
      *sigh*
      No other free game has ever done this. Thus the article.