Meme Run (lost build of unreleased PC port of Wii U endless runner game; 2015)
Meme Run was an infamous 2014 endless runner game released on the Nintendo Wii U by Ninja Pig Studios/Jordan Schuetz. A PC port of the game was planned in 2015, but never released.
The gameplay was similar to a generic endless runner. The player controls a stick figure with a "Trollface" as its head, with an objective to get as many "SWAG Points" as one can in a randomly generated 2D world of "Lenny faces", as several memes attempt to obstruct the player's screen. Memes featured in the game include the Illuminati symbol, the Get Out Frog, "quickscoping" and air horns.
Meme Run was first released on the Nintendo eShop on December 18th, 2014, priced at $4.99. On a pre-release interview from November 29th, Schuetz claimed that he and his brother were inspired to create the game after spending months on the /r/MontageParodies subreddit. Schuetz also mentioned that Nintendo approved his game onto the eShop "since they realize I’m targeting an untapped market."
The game gained notoriety after release, with Nintendo Life giving the game an "abysmal" 1 star out of 10, stating that "Nintendo needs to start taking a hard look at its eShop policies on the Wii U." Common complaints include the concern over copyrighted assets (with the game costing money despite Schuetz not owning most of the material used), boring gameplay and the game's general obnoxiousness. Despite this, Meme Run stayed on the Nintendo eShop for more than two months.
On January 6th, 2015, a Steam Greenlight page for the game was created, in hopes to bring the game to the platform. Four announcements were made on the page, showcasing the emoticons, trading cards and backgrounds the player could receive on Steam if they had bought the game, as well as discussing Steam Workshop support for the game. However, in March of the same year, the game was unexpectedly taken down from the Nintendo eShop. The creator of the "Trollface" picture, Whynne, later wrote a post on the /r/Nintendo subreddit, explaining that he had filed a copyright infringement takedown on the game. The Steam Greenlight page was not updated since the takedown, and the PC port was not spoken of since. Valve has also removed the Steam Greenlight service in 2017, nullifying the chances of the game releasing.
The Wii U version, despite getting taken off the Nintendo eShop, has been eventually dumped and can still be played via the Loadiine backup program. The PC port was never released, and most likely will never be, due to legal issues and the game's generally outdated humour.
- Internet Archive download for the Wii U version. Retrieved 02 Feb '20
- NintendoLife overview on Meme Run. Retrieved 02 Feb '20
- NintendoNews interview with Jordan Schuetz, mentioning Meme Run. Archived 02 Dec '14
- NintendoLife review on Meme Run. Retrieved 02 Feb '20
- Steam Greenlight page for Meme Run. Retrieved 02 Feb '20
- Whynne's Reddit post about Meme Run. Retrieved 02 Feb '20
- EuroGamer article about the removal of Steam Greenlight. Retrieved 02 Feb '20