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Sonic Dash rings in 100m downloads

No wonder Nintendo is branching into mobile.

Sonic Dash, the free-to-play endless runner spin-off of the famed hedgehog, has been downloaded over 100m times, Sega has announced.

The mobile offshoot was first released on iOS in March 2013, then followed suit on Android in November 2013 and Windows Phone in December 2014.

Developed by Sega's mobile studio Hardlight, Sonic Dash was created by a team of only 15 people over the course of eight months.

Given its mad popularity, it's hard to judge Nintendo too harshly for branching into mobile when even its heaviest hitter on Wii U, Mario Kart 8, only managed about 5.1m in sales worldwide as of 31st March 2015. Heck, even the Wii U's combined software sales across all games has only come to 56.7m.

Of course, Sonic Dash is free-to-play and it's unclear how many folks actually spent any real coin on this mobile mini-game. But still, 100m is a lot!

In the following infographic boasting about its impressive figures, Sega noted that Sonic Dash has been played 123m hours, which it likened to 140 centuries. That sounds impressive until you factor in how many people played it and realise the average time spent with the game was only 1.23 hours, so basically about 74 minutes per person. Of course it never really breaks down that way, as some folks never touch it and others get really invested. The question is how big a per cent do you really need to get hooked when you're shifting such crazy quantities?

Eurogamer contributor Rich Stanton found Sonic Dash to be a moderately enjoyable, if ultimately forgetable sojourn in Sonic's return to relevance. "There is a good game here, and enough nostalgia to mask - for a while at least - the obnoxious shilling," he wrote in his Sonic Dash review.

"Sega seems to find it hard enough to make a decent Sonic game these days, and then it goes and publishes something like Sonic Dash - which with a little more polish could be great, but is instead rushed and spoiled by greed."

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Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.

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