Space Ape Games has a novel tactic for getting more publicity for its Fastlane: Road to Revenge mobile game. The London-based company announced today it has added more than 20 of gaming’s most popular YouTube personalities to its spring release for iOS and Android.

The clever marketing move is one reason why Space Ape Games has grown fast. In the past two years, the company has tripled its mobile game revenue. This first-of-its-kind partnership puts the YouTubers into the game as characters, enabling them to engage their communities in a new way.

From January 2015 to March 2017, Space Ape Games grew from 10 million players to 35 million players, said Space Ape CEO Earner in a recent interview with GamesBeat. During that time, revenues grew from $25 million to $92 million. And in the fourth quarter of 2016, the company had $5 million in profit, Earner said.

The personalities include Kwebbelkop, Jelly, Slogoman, The Alvaro845, Chief Pat, Team Epiphany Jake, Coleson Comedy, TheSmithPlays, Galadon, JoblessGarrett, Eclihpse, Azzyland, iamSanna, Clash On Gan, AndroiMers, Bootramp, SoooMungry, Leah Ashe, Epic Voice Guy, and TheGameHuntah.

Fastlane is a retro arcade shooter game where you ride in vehicles and shoot at enemies coming down a 2D highway, like the old Spy Hunter game.

Collectively, the 20-plus YouTube personalities have an audience of more than 30 million. That means if they get excited about being in the game, they can create instant awareness for the title among their followers. Of course, there can be downsides for using YouTubers in games, Playtonic dropped the voice of influencer Jon “JonTron” Jafari from its upcoming 3D platformer game Yooka-Laylee because of a controversy around how he openly talked about racist views.

Above: Space Ape Games’ Fastlane: Road to Revenge.

Image Credit: Space Ape Games

In Fastlane: Road to Revenge, chaos runs the streets and it’s time to take back your city. You have to deal with gangs and enlist a crew of characters and fight gang bosses.

“We are very excited to explore a new genre that evolves arcade shooters for mobile devices,” said Earner in a statement. “At Space Ape, we have always put our community first, and integrating twenty of the world’s favorite YouTube stars who love the title deep into the game with their own characters, cars and missions is a reflection of how much we celebrate our community. I personally haven’t been able to put the game down since I first started playing it, and I can’t wait for everyone else to be able to get their hands on it this spring.”

Above: Fastlane: Road to Revenge

Image Credit: Space Ape Games

Players will be interacting with the popular YouTubers in authentic ways as each personality will have a custom in-game persona, name and look; each YouTuber will pick their in-game collaborators and nemeses; they will design their in-game vehicles, choose which vehicles players will have to chase in their quests and which items will drop when those vehicles are wasted; they will create the text for their missions and cutscenes, and even call on their communities to help write that text.

Players will be able to unlock exclusive in-game rewards connected to their favorite YouTubers. Fastlane: Road to Revenge will launch with a one-week event featuring quests from each YouTuber, and subsequent weeks will feature one four-day event starring one or two of the YouTube stars.

“This is such a unique opportunity to interact with my fans; I’ve never encountered something like this before,” said YouTube personality Kwebbelkop, in a statement. “To be able to share a game with my fans in which I’m an actual boss character is awesome! I think my favourite part is going to be the community-created quests. I’m looking forward to seeing what my fans come up with and then actually seeing it implemented in game. This is going to be epic. It will also be super cool to align with some of my YouTuber friends and compete against others as we race through the streets of Fastlane.”

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