´Mole's World' game activates nostalgia among China´s youngsters
One of Asia´s most beloved video games is becoming a roaring success on the Chinese internet 13 years after its original release, driving a wave of nostalgia among the young adults of the country.
The mobile version of "Mole´s World" has become the topmost free download on Apple´s app store and has also been downloaded million times on Android phones, increasing its maker’s share price by 25 percent in the week it was released.
The farming simulation game which was first available for PCs in 2008, features a creature with a clown nose who took the attention of a generation of gamers many years back.
The once players of Mole´s World as children are now adults who show their virtual farms to colleagues during office lunch breaks.
"I still play it out of nostalgia," stated Zhao Yiping, a 24-year-old postgraduate student and long-time Mole fan.
The developer G-bits Network Technology´s Shanghai-listed stock has gained almost 25 percent lift due to the game´s popularity thus forcing the company´s value to over 41 billion yuan ($6.41 billion).
G-bits has done a lot of marketing to the relaunch of Mole´s World to young adults, including Chinese pop-punk band ‘New Pants’ to play in an advertising video.
It is part of several companies using nostalgia to promote and sell products to young Chinese who want to have an escape from the stress and uncertainty of adulthood.
Even many 1990s-themed restaurants have started running in major cities as well as fresh interpretations of old-fashioned snacks like ‘White Rabbit’ and ‘Want-Want’ have been released.
According to the China Internet Network Information Centre, China´s online gaming industry has boosted by 279 billion yuan in 2020 due to Covid-19 lockdowns.
Videos of players displaying their proud accomplishments in Mole´s World have gained millions of views on Bilibili, China´s equivalent of YouTube.