Eric Johnson

Recent Posts by Eric Johnson

Finally! Usain Bolt Is Now a Playable Character in Temple Run 2.

usain bolt

Nick J Webb / Flickr

It’s a match made in sports-branding heaven on the App Store: The so-called “fastest man on Earth,” Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, is now a playable character in the mobile game Temple Run 2.

The game’s creators, Imangi Studios, called Bolt’s addition to the game an “obvious and fitting partnership.” In an email, Bolt told AllThingsD that Imangi approached him and he said yes immediately — in part because, “people have always been tweeting at me that I should be a released character in Temple Run.”

He added that he was involved in the design process for his virtual runner character, the final version of which is outfitted in “life-like” yellow and green, according to a press release. The character costs 99 cents “for a limited time only.”

bolt temple runUnlike, say, those NCAA athletes who now have a clear path to sue EA, professional runners have had fewer opportunities to be represented in videogames. However, this isn’t the first time Bolt has been avatarized: Last year, he got his own mobile game, Bolt!, which garnered positive reviews and 2.5 million downloads while Bolt was busy earning three gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics.

Temple Run 2 was one of the most-downloaded apps for iOS and Android when it came out earlier this year, but Onavo Insights estimates that its iPhone market share today is less than half what it was in February.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald