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What is Zombies, Run!?

Zombies, Run! is an ultra-immersive real world running game and audio adventure for iOS and Android devices, co-created with award-winning novelist Naomi Alderman. We deliver the story straight to your headphones through orders and voice recordings - and when you get back home, you use the supplies you’ve collected while running to build and grow your base.

Where did the idea come from?

The idea came from two places - Six to Start CEO, Adrian Hon, used to hate running as a teenager and only got into it with the help of gadgets like the Garmin Forerunner GPS watch and Runkeeper. They're a great way to help you improve running, but even then, they don't actually make the act of running any more fun for beginners, so he has always wanted to make a real 'running game' that motivates you to go further and faster.

As for lead writer Naomi Alderman, she had joined a 'beginning to run class' where they asked everyone why we wanted to learn how to run. One woman said: "to escape the zombie horde" which became a sort of class joke, we'd say it all the time. So when Adrian said "running app", Naomi said "something where you run from the zombie horde!" and it all came from there.

How successful has Zombies, Run! been?

We’re very pleased with the success of Zombies, Run! so far. After launching in February 2012, the game has consistently been among the highest grossing Health and Fitness apps in the world, with over 200,000 downloads by the end of the year. Thanks in part to the app being featured on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, as well as increased word of mouth from happy players, Zombies, Run! sales have increased at a huge rate over the 2012 Christmas period and into 2013 - so much so that we’ve now sold 500,000 copies to date (as of May 2013).

What are your future plans for Zombies, Run!?

We've just launched Zombies, Run! 2, which included a massive number of new missions, improved user interface, advanced base builder, and we're working on some great new gameplay modes including Airdrop and Interval Training.

How is Six to Start structured?

As of Feb 2013, Six to Start is an indie developer with around twelve employees. We have five mobile and web developers, and the rest of the staff includes an artist, producer, junior producer, office manager, customer support team members, and other operations staff. Most of Six to Start works on Zombies, Run! although we do have other projects. Additionally, Naomi Alderman, Zombies, Run!’s co-creator and lead writer, works with a number of writers to help develop the scripts.

What was Six to Start’s history before Zombies, Run!?

Six to Start was founded in 2007 by Adrian Hon, Dan Hon, and Lisa Long, who had all previously worked at Mind Candy on the Perplex City alternate reality game (ARG). Adrian had been the Director of Play at Mind Candy since 2004 and is currently the CEO.

From 2007 to 2011, Six to Start was a digital agency that worked with companies and brands like the BBC, Penguin, Disney Imagineering, the British Museum, and Death Cab for Cutie to research, design, develop, and run ‘game-like stories and story-like games’ online and in the real world. These included “We Tell Stories” for Penguin in 2008, which won Best of Show at SXSW, “Smokescreen” for Channel 4, which won Best Game, and “The Code” for BBC Two.

Six to Start’s original goal was to create and publish their own games, and with the idea of Zombies, Run! and the launch of Kickstarter, we were finally able to realise that ambition.

How was Zombies, Run! originally funded?

Zombies, Run! started life as a Kickstarter project in September 2011. In just 30 days the game attracted 3,500 backers pledging $73,000 in support, making it not only the most successful videogame on Kickstarter ever at that point, but also the project with the most small donations in all of 2011 (interesting fact: Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Adventure videogame swiftly broke our record with over $3 million in pledges).

As you can see from the Kickstarter page, we exceeded our target funding by a considerable margin, which allowed us to focus on creating the game without having to take on contract work. It also meant we had complete creative control to make the game we wanted to.

You can find the Zombies, Run! Kickstarter page here.

Why Kickstarter?

Like most games, Zombies, Run! required funding to be developed. Funding can come from many places, including angel investors, venture capitalists, games publishers, bank loans, grants, and now, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter. We chose Kickstarter because it was not only a great way for us to assess demand for a highly unusual and innovative idea (which a lot of traditional funders might think risky), but because it was much quicker than going through the conventional routes. Kickstarter also gave us the freedom to keep complete creative control of the game - something that is often impossible with other routes.

For further media enquiries, please contact us at press@zombiesrungame.com. If you require assets for Zombies, Run! and Zombies, Run! 5k Training, you can find them at the links below.

Visit the Zombies, Run! Press page for media assets

You can view the latest Zombies, Run! launch trailer on Youtube here: All-New Zombies, Run! Trailer

To request a full HD version of this trailer, please email hello@sixtostart.com

Press assets for Zombies, Run! 5k Training

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