Ten year-old game Dumb Ways to Die has been topping charts around the world and just passed 100m lifetime downloads, thanks to a TikTok trend.
Appmagic data shows that before the Dumb Ways to Die meme format blew up in January, the game was averaging just over 600k downloads per month, or about 20k per day.
After the trend took off, however, according to Appmagic Dumb Ways to Die has claimed 3.5m downloads in the last 30 days, and passed 300k daily downloads on both February 11th and 12th, a new all-time record.
Publisher PlaySide told us that the Dumb Ways TikTok account already had over 1.5m followers at the end of 2022, and that its social teams were very active on the platform before it spiked in the last few weeks.
“We have a lot of fun with the brand, so we’re not surprised that it had the potential to inspire memes by others,” PlaySide Studios’ Dumb Ways GM Ben Kelly told us. “You can never predict virality – you’re just happy when it happens!”
“As of late January, the meme had started gaining traction, but it wasn’t until a fan uploaded a CapCut template that things really began to take off,” he explained. “This template allowed fans to readily duplicate the format and music.”
“From there, our team quickly jumped on board, remixing the trend, conducting Duets with other users and even creating animated scorecards to rate those people who had submitted their own versions. We’ve also had our IRL Beans visiting key Melbourne locations, where the original song began.”
“We’ve now seen tennis players, gymnasts, NASCAR drivers and more getting involved in the trend, which is great.”
PlaySide says Dumb Ways to Die reached number one on the iOS App Store in the US and in 17 other countries since the trend took off. The publisher also said there have been over 40,000 new videos posted to TikTok using the Dumb Ways template, grossing over 200m views. The official Dumb Ways TikTok channel also passed 76m views, with over 1m new followers added in recent weeks.
PlaySide’s YouTube channel, home to the original viral Dumb Ways To Die video (above), also just ticked over a million subscribers. PlaySide’s other Dumb Ways games have seen some uplift recently too, the publisher said.
“To date, this has all been 100% organic, testament to the passion of our fans, the strength of the brand and the incredible work of the entire PlaySide team,” added Kelly.
Australian publisher PlaySide acquired the Dumb Ways To Die brand in October 2021 for $2.25m AUD (around $1.64m USD). It was originally created as a public safety campaign by Metro Trains, and was turned into a game after the original YouTube video went viral back in 2012.