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Temple Run joins Angry Birds to hit one billion downloads

The game, which was launched around two years ago, reached the mark sometime last year between Temple Run and the launch of its sequel, Temple Run 2.

By Ananth Baliga
Temple Run joins Angry Birds to hit one billion downloads
Temple Run is the second game franchise after Angry Birds to reach one billion lifetime downloads. (CC: Siddartha Thota)

RALEIGH, N.C., June 4 (UPI) -- The Temple Run game reached one billion lifetime downloads, according to Imangi Studios, joining the popular Angry Birds game, which reached the mark in 2012.

The game was originally developed by husband-and-wife duo Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova in 2011. The game has to date amassed a total of 50 trillion meters, 32 billion games played, 147 trillion gold coins collected and an equivalent of 216,018 total years played.

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The game was the first to pioneer and popularize the 'endless runner' game, where a character is constantly running towards the horizon performing tasks along the way, controlled by swiping left, right up and down.

"It snuck up on us a bit," said Shepherd, cofounder of Imangi Studios, in an interview with GamesBeat. "It's kind of crazy....It's changed so many things for us. It's opened up cool opportunities.

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Temple run has since seen a sequel, Temple Run 2, including spinoffs for popular Disney movies Brave and The Wizard of Oz. Shepherd did not rule out the possibility of Temple Run 3, saying that it could arrive "at some point."

Shepherd said that despite the popularity of the game the studio has no plans to turn their company into a giant gaming empire with hundreds of employees. Currently the company has remained as a small startup with 11 employees.

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"These days we're 11 people, still a really tiny team. But we've gotten to the point where we can continue doing these regular updates to Temple Run and building on that franchise. At the same time, we've gotten back to our roots and started prototyping a lot of new game ideas," he said.

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