Don’t let anybody ever tell you get-rich-quick ventures are no good. You really can make millions from a humble lemonade stand alone; just ask AdVenture Capitalist players out there—all 50 million of them.

Hyper Hippo’s highly addicting idle clicker sim lets you build an empire and enjoy capitalism at its finest, and it’s now in its sixth year. It’s a mobile milestone achieved only by the greats, but how exactly did the game get to where it is right now? It all began with some mice, a terrible pitch, and dwindling productivity around the office!

Meager mouse madness

Wide-eyed and hopeful, an eager Lance Priebe of Club Penguin fame set out from Disney into the wonderful world of game dev to build Hyper Hippo in 2012. With his scrappy team of game designers, he first ventured into the funny business of Mech Mice, a game that combined advanced tech with, well, mice. The vision for the project was sky-high, with Triple A dreams and multimedia aspirations.

Of course, while there’s nothing wrong with reaching for the stars, the first question they all should’ve asked was this: Are players even going to like this game at all? “We were so busy thinking big that we forgot to think small,” the team says. A paradigm shift was in order.

A player-first philosophy

“Hyper Hippo started with one big vision project in Mech Mice. But we learned that we weren’t listening to the audience enough,” says Rimmy Spanjer, Director of Games at Hyper Hippo. “With AdVenture Capitalist, it was the catalyst for our adoption of a Player-First philosophy. When AdCap was pitched in a conference room in a traditional setting, it was rejected. When players got their hands on it and played, it exploded. Now player-first is our guiding philosophy in every aspect of feature, event, and new game development.”

What exactly did this player-first philosophy do? Well, it definitely prompted Cody Vigue and Tristan Rattink to come up with a game where you click progress bars to build an empire. The pitch wasn’t exactly well-received, and pretty soon, productivity around the workplace dropped—although not for the reasons you may think. As it turned out, everyone started playing this odd idle game where you click to receive little moments of catharsis—and so AdVenture Capitalist was born.

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An unexpected hit

First launched on Kongregate and now with a whopping 50,000,000 downloads, AdVenture Capitalist proved that the same idle satisfaction that ruined office productivity at Hyper Hippo appealed to players the world over.

“We came to realize that the success of Club Penguin was built on moments, joyful moments that added up to a great experience. Now, those snackable moments of joy are always the first thing we focus on,” Spanjer says. “That’s how our breakthrough game AdVenture Capitalist changed the course of our company and pioneered the genre of Idle gaming. Talk about thinking small!”

The future of capitalism and beyond

With live ops continuously being implemented, as well as consistent new content, limited-time events, and fresh planets for players to discover, AdVenture Capitalist aims to surpass those millions of downloads for years and years to come—all while keeping the player top-of-mind above all else.

“Hyper Hippo is proud to be part of what began the wave of Idle games, and we’re determined to be part of its future,” continues Spanjer. “We have multiple games in the works that have us very excited, and we’re certain to have a few surprises ready for anyone who thinks they know what a Hippo game looks like. Keep an eye out, as we’re constantly pushing ourselves to better understand our players, the market, and what truly makes great games.”

Eager to get rich quick too? AdVenture Capitalist is available to download on the App Store and on Google Play as a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.

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