SYBO Games is a Danish video game company located in Copenhagen, Denmark founded by Sylvester Rishøj Jensen and Bodie Jahn-Mulliner. SYBO is mainly known for being the creators and intellectual property owners of the second-most-downloaded mobile-runner game, Subway Surfers, which SYBO co-developed with Kiloo. SYBO has also released a second mobile runner game titled Blades of Brim. Like Subway Surfers, Blades of Brim is also an endless runner freemium title with in-app purchases. SYBO was among the first seven Snapchat games with Subway Surfers Airtime,[1] released late 2019.

SYBO Games
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
Founded2010; 14 years ago (2010) In Holbæk, Denmark
FoundersBodie Jahn-Mulliner
Sylvester Rishøj Jensen
Key people
Bodie Jahn-Mulliner (President & Co-Founder)
Sylvester Rishøj Jensen (Chief Creative Director
Mathias Gredal Nørvig (CEO)
David Byrne (Chief Operations Officer)
Naz Amarchi-Cuevas (Chief Commercial Officer, Head of Licensing & Brand Marketing)
ProductsSubway Surfers
Blades of Brim
Subway Surfers Airtime
Subway Surfers Tag

In June 2022, Miniclip agreed to buy SYBO in an undisclosed deal.[2]

Games popularity and TV production edit

One week after the release of Subway Surfers, the freemium running game for iOS had reached three million downloads and become the most downloaded game in 20 countries.[3] Consequently, AppAdvice named it the Game of the Week for May 31, 2012.[4] Four months later, Subway Surfers was available to Android users and quickly spread.[5] The following month saw Subway Surfers rise into the top 20 growing Facebook apps by monthly active users.[6] Eight months after the initial release, Subway Surfers landed 100 million downloads.[7] By 2017, Subway Surfers was the most downloaded game across the globe.[8] Furthermore, Subway Surfers is the first Android mobile game to cross one billion downloads in Google Play, a milestone reached in March 2018.[9]

Today, the Subway Surfers runner game has been downloaded over 2.7 billion times averaging over 100 million active users per month.[10]

The success of Subway Surfers has also resulted in the creation of Subway Surfers The Animated Series - an 11-episode, short-form cartoon series that follows the adventures of the game’s four main protagonists; Jake, Tricky, Fresh and Yutani. The show also includes some antagonistic characters such as Guard, Dog, and Frank - the mysterious figure who wears a bunny mask. The series premiered on June 1, 2018 and was well-received. The episodes have accumulated over 100 million views and are currently published on SYBO TV (SYBO’s YouTube channel with over 3.3 million subscribers) along with supporting content such as behind-the-scenes and character feature videos. The short-form episodes premiered June 1, 2018, with 11 episodes where you get to know the main characters of the Subway Surfers game. The short-form animated series shows the lives of the main characters Jake, Tricky, Fresh and Yutani and introduces the mysterious Frank, a guy with a bunny mask, among other characters including the Guard and the Dog. The animated series has over 120 million views on their SYBO TV channel.[11]

SYBO further extended its universe by launching the Snapchat game Subway Surfers Airtime[1] as of late 2019. The multiplayer mobile game allows you to challenge your friends and race with your favorite characters. Skate the tracks and collect coins to unlock new characters. Hold and release to jump and get ahead of your friends to reach the finish line first.

SYBO's second endless runner game was Blades of Brim[12] (BoB) released in 2015. Blades of Brim became the editor's choice in the Apple app store as of 2016. The player runs through levels to save the world of Brim by fighting the Goon Lord’s minion army. The BoB endless runner is free-to-play, includes magic creatures and inspiring surroundings.

History edit

Knowing each other from the leading animation institution in Denmark, the Animation Workshop, Creative Director Sylvester Rishøj Jensen and CEO Bodie Jahn-Mulliner founded SYBO Games in 2010 as a consequence of winning 1st prize for best animation movie at Hamburg Animation Award 2009.[13][14]

Their short film featured a graffiti troublemaker who had to run away from the dog and the guard as they chased him around in the subway. Pitching the game idea for Danish Film Institute, New Danish Screen sponsored SYBO Games initiative for the game[15] resulting in a release three years later.

Before they launched Subway Surfers, they also created the game apps Powerflow[16] and Cosmic Cab.[17]

Today, the game studio is completely self-owned and continues to develop regular updates for Subway Surfers,[18][19] while also creating other games for mobile devices.

Subway Surfers Animated Series edit

On June 1, 2018, the first of a series of animated shorts debuted on SYBO Games YouTube channel. At the beginning of 2020, the series hit 170 million views. The 10 x 4-minute episodic series is scripted by Brent Friedman and Francesca Marie Smith and produced by Daytime Emmy award-winning producer Sander Schwartz. Chris Bartleman is supervising director and Michael Hegner is the director.

Environment edit

On September 23, 2019, SYBO joined Playing for the Planet[20] together with UN Environment. By joining, SYBO and 19 other game development companies made several commitments to deliver games in environentally sustainable ways. Playing for the Planet aims to reduce emissions by 30 million tonnes CO2 by 2030, plant millions of trees, advance energy conservation, increase consumer awareness via in-game menus and game design, reduce plastics and toxics in packaging, steer towards a circular economy in plastic and electronic device (e-waste) management, and catalyze a global scale ally in planetary problem-solving.[21]

Prior to joining Playing for the Planet SYBO changed to an organic and mostly vegetarian canteen and installed solar panels on their office building's roof. SYBO also invested in solar projects in India and waste management in Chile.

Awards and honors edit

SYBO Games winning Best Pitch at Growing Games 2011 [22]

Subway Surfers declared AppAdvice's Game of the Week for May 31, 2012 [23]

Subway Surfers nominated in the Community Choice-category by Unity Awards 2012 for games that takes the best advantage of the Unity 3D game engine [24]

Winner of Best Danish Game at Mobil Awards 2012 by Danish newspaper B.T. and Magasinet Mobil [25]

Among top 10 non-stop running game apps for iOS and Android by NDTV Gadgets [26]

Winner of Best Bathroom Break Casual Game 2013 by Best Mobile App Awards [27]

Subway Surfers nominated for Best Nordic Handheld Game 2013 by Nordic Game Awards [28]

Subway Surfers nominated by Producentforeningen for Game Of the Year in Denmark, Spilprisen, 2013 [29]

5th Annual Awards Winner for Best Entertainment App by BestAppEver for Android [30]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Subway Surfers Airtime | Launch Trailer | Coming soon on Snapchat!. YouTube.
  2. ^ "Miniclip will acquire Subway Surfers maker Sybo". VentureBeat. 24 June 2022. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Vigild, Thomas. "Nyt dansk iPhone-spil surfer sin sejrsgang kloden over". Politiken. Politiken. Retrieved March 18, 2013.", Wikipedia, 2020-01-15, retrieved 2020-03-18
  4. ^ Chan, Christine (31 May 2012), "AppAdvice Game Of The Week For May 31, 2012. AppAdvice. AppAdvice. Retrieved March 18, 2013.", Wikipedia, retrieved 2020-03-18
  5. ^ Grush, Andrew (2013-03-18), "Highly Popular iOS game, Subway Surfers, comes to Android". Mobile Magazine. Mobile Magazine.", Wikipedia, archived from the original on 2012-11-25, retrieved 2013-03-19
  6. ^ Darwell, Brittany (2018-03-18), "Farmville 2, Instagram, Zuma Blitz, Subway Surfers and more on this week's top 20 growing Facebook apps by MAU", ADweek
  7. ^ Sacco, Dominic (2020-01-15), "Subway Surfers one of the most played apps in the world",, retrieved 2020-03-18
  8. ^ Riaz, Saleha (2020-01-15), "Netflix app tops revenue ranking",, retrieved 2020-03-18
  9. ^ Harris, Iain (2020-01-15), "Subway Surfers becomes first game to hit 1 billion downloads on Google Play", PocketGamer.Biz, retrieved 2020-03-18
  10. ^ Harris, Iain (2018-04-30), "Subway Surfers sails past the two billion download mark",, retrieved 2020-03-18
  11. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (2018-04-25), "'Subway Surfers' Series Makes YouTube Debut June 1'",, retrieved 2020-03-18
  12. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Blades of Brim Boss trailer. YouTube.
  13. ^ Arfs, Jörn (2020-01-15), ""Hamburg Animation Award 2009 geht an Trickfilmnachwuchs aus Dänemark"", Hamburg Animation award 2009, retrieved 2020-03-18
  14. ^ Arfs, Jörn (2020-01-15), "All winners of the 6th Hamburg animation awards 2009", Hamburg animation award, archived from the original on 2011-08-15, retrieved 2020-03-18
  15. ^ Løvind, Simon (2020-01-15), "New Danish Screen – Spilordningen støtter ni danske computerspil til børn og unge", Danish film institute, retrieved 2020-03-18
  16. ^ Whitfield, Aaron (2020-01-15), "SYBO Games launches 'PowerFlow'", Pocket full of apps, retrieved 2020-03-18
  17. ^ Whitfield, Aaron (2020-01-15), ""'Cosmic Cab' from Sybo Games Released"", Pocket full of Apps, retrieved 2020-03-18
  18. ^ Calimlim, Aldrin (2020-01-15), ""Surf And Sprint Through The New York City Subway In Subway Surfers".", AppAdvice, retrieved 2020-03-18
  19. ^ Calimlim, Aldrin (2020-01-15), ""All Train Tracks Lead To Rome In Subway Surfers' New Content Update"", Appadvice, retrieved 2020-03-18
  20. ^ "Home - Playing for the Planet". Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  21. ^ "Subway Surfers Joins Playing for the Planet Effort at UN Climate Conference in NYC" (Press release).
  22. ^ Askholm, Kirstine. "Pitchkonkurrence - Øvelse gør mester". Interactive Denmark. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  23. ^ Chan, Christine (31 May 2012). "AppAdvice Game Of The Week For May 31, 2012". AppAdvice. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  24. ^ Chapple, Craig (27 July 2012). "Unity Awards 2012 finalists named". Develop. Develop. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  25. ^ "Se alle vinderne fra Mobil Awards 2012". Magasinet Mobil. 15 November 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  26. ^ Iyer, Sandhya (13 March 2013). "Top 10 non-stop running game apps for iOS and Android". NDTV Gadgets. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  27. ^ "Winner of 2013 Overall Awards - Best Bathroom - Break Casual Game". Best Mobile App Awards. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  28. ^ "Nominees revealed for Nordic Game Awards 2014". Nordic Game Awards. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  29. ^ "Nominerede til Spilprisen 2013". Producentforeningen. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  30. ^ "5th Annual Awards Winner for Best Entertainment App". Best App Ever Awards. Retrieved May 27, 2014.

External links edit