18+ anime style music rhythm game Muse Dash has become a sudden hit on TikTok. It also boosted the popularity of the Wallpaper Engine app along the way.
Muse Dash is developed Chinese studio PeroPeroGames and published by China-based XD Network. As spotted by Niko Partners’ Daniel Ahmad, the title has generated around 400m views on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, over the last two weeks. Another 60m views come from the global TikTok.
So, what happened?
On November 8, a live wallpaper video featuring Muse Dash characters was posted on TikTok.
If you use TikTok then you’ve probably come across the #MuseDash trend yourself. While it has taken on various forms at this point, it started out on Nov 8 as a simple live wallpaper video that had characters from the game in it
These videos captured the attention of many people pic.twitter.com/tmEf3qi9EX
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) November 29, 2020
TikTok creaters immediately responded by posting their own creative videos based on the game promoting it completely organically.
According to Ahmad, “in China the game jumped from #46 to #1 on the iOS paid game chart. It has been #1 since Nov 15.” On Steam, the game doubled its concurrent user count last week.
An interesting side effect of this trend was that it also led to the increased popularity of Wallpaper Engine, an app on Steam that allows users to make and use live wallpapers. It was this app that was used to produce the original Muse Dash live wallpaper video. Again, completely organically, through no sale or promotion, Wallpaper Engine soared to No. 9 on Steam’s best-selling list last week.
When publisher XD Network took notice of what was going on on TikTok, the company launched a sale for the game and its in-game content. They also initated further paid promotion on TikTok (Douyin). Apparently, 200,000 Douyin users proceeded to buy the game.
Overall Muse Dash has now exceeded 2.4m unit sales.
“It once again shows the power of new social apps and those communities,” concludes Ahmad. “It’s not the first example of games blowing up on TikTok and won’t be the last.”