We’ve got exciting news. We’re incredibly proud to announce that Six to Start and Naomi Alderman are teaming up with the Department of Health in the UK to prototype a new smartphone app.
Creating Zombies, Run! is amazingly rewarding - one of the most gratifying things is knowing that we’ve helped almost 200,000 people around the world to have more fun than ever when they’re out running. Since we launched in Spring, we’ve seen millions of kilometres logged online and thousands of tweets and emails from players telling us how much their fitness has improved and how much weight they’ve lost. We’ve been continuing to update the app, plus we’re creating new apps including Zombies, Run! 5k Training. Zombies, Run! is continuing to go from strength to strenght, and we’re looking forward to bringing the thrill of fleeing for your life to hundreds of thousands more people over the coming years.
We know that there’s more we can do, though - and that’s why, with the backing of the Department of Health, we’re prototyping a new app which aims to change people’s behaviour in order to reduce the impact of obesity. We’re still at a very early stage in development so there are very few details we can reveal now, but it’ll be no surprise to learn that we’re bringing our unique combination of real world gaming and storytelling talents to bear on this challenge - just as we helped make running more fun.
This new project is part of a competition funded by the Department of Health and managed by NHS London, using the Small Business Research Initiation (SBRI) process co-ordinated by the Technology Strategy Board.
It’s estimated that if current trends persist until 2050, 60% of the UK will be obese, and the NHS cost attributable to obesity and overweight would be £9.7 billion and the total societal costs would be £49.9 billion (National Obesity Observatory, 2009). Obesity is also closely associated with type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% of the estimated 3.7 million in the UK with diabetes.
The NHS spends 10% of its budget treating the consequences of the condition, according to Diabetes UK, so reducing obesity rates could make a enormous positive impact on the nation’s health and finances. With smartphone penetration in the UK at over 50% and still rising, and with the tremendous demand we’ve seen for health and fitness games like Zombies, Run!, we believe apps will be a crucial part of that solution. We’re thrilled to be producing another game that’s fun, scary, gripping and happens to be good for your too. Stay tuned.