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Six to Start co-founder Adrian Hon departing Zombies, Run! dev in 2024

Update: Hon has revealed that he and around half of Six to Start's current staff have been laid off by the developer's parent company, OliveX.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

October 19, 2023

2 Min Read
Key art for Six to Start's fitness game, Zombies, Run!
via Six to Start

Adrian Hon announced he'll be leaving mobile developer Six to Start in early 2024. 

Hon, who founded the studio in 2006 with his brother Dan, revealed he'll be taking a "long break" before returning to game development and book writing. 

Six to Start is best known for its Android and iOS fitness game, Zombies, Run!. In the years since its release, it's been a commercial success and spawned a spinoff app and spinoff board game. The game was also recently featured in the British Library's exhibit for digital storytelling.

Earlier this year, it released Marvel Move, an adventure-themed title that pairs comic book audio adventures with running. Hon spoke to Game Developer ahead of its summer release, where he discussed how the game evolves on the formula established by Zombies.

Looking back on his time at Six to Start, Hon remarked that the developer "chose to make games that help people get fit and stay healthy—games that people wouldn't regret playing, games that we wouldn't regret making. And I think we achieved that."

Beyond Zombies, Run!, the developer also released fitness games The Walk in 2021 and Dustland Runner the following year. Separately, Hon wrote the sci-fi novel A History of the Future in 100 Objects and the gamification-focused You’ve Been Played: How Corporations, Governments, and Schools Use Games to Control Us All.

Update: Hon later confirmed to GamesIndustry that Six to Start has lost "a little over 50 percent" of its staff, him included. At present, there are now around 25 workers consisting of full-time employees and contractors. 

The reductions can be owed to digital fitness developer OliveX, the developer's parent company following an acquisition in 2021. Hon revealed that some staff are currently being let go, while others will remain for the next several months. 

"Ultimately, OliveX are facing the same pressures that are affecting the rest of the games industry," he continued, "[such as] macroeconomic challenges that make raising money harder, interest rates, a return to a pre-COVID level of demand for games and digital experiences, etc."

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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