Imagine Dragons, the rock band behind mega hits like Radioactive and Demons, is jumping into mobile games with a title that will help fight childhood cancer.
The title is one more example of the search for a magical hit in the $30 billion mobile game business. In this case, the formula involves a famous rock band, a music-focused story game, and the involvement of a anti-cancer charitable foundation. All of those things could help the title deal with the No. 1 problem for mobile games: the high cost of acquiring new users and standing out in the pack.
Stage Rush: Imagine Dragons is available today for $1.99 on iOS and Android. And for every $1.99 purchase of the game in its first month, $1 will be donated to the Tyler Robinson Foundation. The foundation was created last year to help families deal with the financial and emotional costs of childhood cancer. After the first month, 25 percent of the revenue will go to the foundation.
Kim Kardashian: Hollywood started this newest trend in mobile games of using celebrities, and that game has generated more than $146 million to date for Glu Mobile, which benefits enormously from the free user acquisition that happens. Of course, the game company has to share proceeds with the celebrity, and not all games with celebrities are taking off. Glu acknowledged that its Katy Perry game hasn’t done as well as expected.
But the charitable connection is something that the Katy Perry game didn’t have. Celebrities can be at their best when they promote causes. And games such as That Dragon, Cancer, created by a couple who lost a son to cancer, are drawing attention to subjects that are emotionally tough to deal with.
Los Angeles game publisher Zig Zag Zoom created the game for the band. It is a fast-paced endless runner where you weave your way through the streets of the band’s hometown, Las Vegas, and through the city of Paris — all to the beat of Imagine Dragons’ songs.
“The ability to incorporate meaningful charitable components in ordinary, everyday activities and purchases is something the younger generation appreciates like no other,” the band said in a statement. “We teamed up with Zig Zag Zoom to bring that giving spirit to mobile gaming, an area not really explored in the past. The game is a blast, but we’re even more excited about the money it will raise to rescue pediatric cancer families by way of our charity, the Tyler Robinson Foundation.”
Zig Zag Zoom, a group of former Disney Interactive executives and game makers, is specializing making games for good, or those that have a higher purpose than just making money.
The game has some exclusive information about the band, such as new photographs. In the game, you can play as members of the band: Dan Reynolds, Wayne Sermon, Daniel Platzman, or Ben McKee. You have to run, jump, and dodge to deal with obstacles in your way.
Tom Kang, CEO of Zig Zag Zoom, said in a statement, “With Stage Rush, we are establishing a franchise that brings together entertaining games, artists, their music, and their causes. Working with Imagine Dragons to launch this franchise has been rewarding and inspirational. Their passion and commitment to TRF is unwavering and totally aligned with our mission to Have Fun and Do Good. In the game’s first month of release, we are stepping up our commitment to our mission by donating more than 50 percent of the revenues from Stage Rush: Imagine Dragons to TRF. We are proud to help families fighting cancer with the Dragons.”