Boy Diagnosed With Autism Inspires Game Developers To Relaunch Classic Title
Game developer Hello Games was inspired to relaunch the popular title Joe Danger after receiving a heartfelt letter from the father of a boy with autism.
Initially released in 2010, Joe Danger was a mobile game centered around a motorbike-riding, danger-loving daredevil who took on players in a race across the desert.
Despite being a popular game following its release, the creation of Hello Games' No Man's Sky is said to have left Joe Danger 'unloved', and updates to Apple’s iOS operating system later rendered the game entirely defunct.
The loss of the game proved heartbreaking for one father, whose son, Jack, 'LOVES' Joe, so he wrote to Hello Games to try and get Joe 'back up and running (and riding)'.
In the letter, shared by the developer on Twitter, the father described his son as 'about the sweetest kid on the planet', and explained he loved 'everything about' the character of Joe Danger, so much so that he has a 'collection of toy motorcycles that are his ‘Joe Dangers’; every motorcycle we see on the street is ‘Joe Danger’'.
The father and son were able to bond over their shared love of video games, the letter explained, with Joe Danger providing 'endless hours of entertainment and joy' as well as a coping mechanism and reward for getting through stressful situations.
A secret shame of ours is that the success of No Man’s Sky left our first game Joe Danger unloved. Sadly since iOS culled older games it no longer worked on latest Apple devices 😭— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) January 27, 2022
This mail broke our hearts and made us want to set things right 💔 pic.twitter.com/Oz2yTjMUK5
Asking whether Hello Games would be able to bring back Joe, the dad wrote, 'It would mean the world to at least one little boy.'
This week, Hello Games founder Sean Murray announced on Twitter that Joe Danger would be relaunching with 'improved visuals, high frame rate, ProMotion and Gamepad support'.
Murray explained that the return of a game was thanks to 'fan mail' as he shared the father's letter on Twitter, writing, 'This mail broke our hearts and made us want to set things right. As game devs it's so easy to underestimate the impact even your smallest games can have. It blows my mind that something you make can be someone's first game they played, hit at an important time or even be their favorite thing for a while.'
As game devs it's so easy to underestimate the impact even your smallest games can have. It blows my mind that something you make can be someone's first game they played, hit at an important time or even be their favorite thing for a while 🙏 pic.twitter.com/9coaI8C7ao— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) January 27, 2022
The founder described the mission to bring Joe Danger back to life as a 'hobby project', explaining the developers had 'slowly' rebuilt it 'piece by piece through eight years of technology changes', and adding, 'It's sad that games slowly rot and many disappear. Hopefully this gives Joe the happy life he deserves. We owe him that and more.'
It's unclear how the father and son reacted to the news of Joe Danger's comeback, but given their love for the game I've no doubt it was a joyful occasion.
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