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How old is the My Little Pony game?

The My Little Pony mobile game was first released on November 8, 2012, making it over 10 years old as of 2023. Let‘s take a closer look at the history and evolution of this long-running simulator game based on the iconic girls‘ toy and entertainment brand.

The My Little Pony Franchise Over the Decades

My Little Pony has been around since the early 1980s, captivating young girls globally with its adorable horse figurines and media. The brand has gone through multiple generational revamps over the decades:

  • Generation 1 – Original My Little Pony toy line launched in 1982 by Hasbro, garnering over $100 million in sales in the first 2 years.
  • Generation 2 – Relaunch in 1997 with revamped aesthetics closer to the original concepts.
  • Generation 3 – Completely redesigned the ponies and world in 2003 with modernized visuals.
  • Generation 4 – Current generation launched in 2010 with the Friendship is Magic animated series.

The brand has amassed over $7 billion in toy sales since its inception and continues to be a top-selling girls toy line 40 years later [1].


My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic – Sparking a New Fandom

The Friendship is Magic series that started in 2010 sparked a new wave of "Ponymania" with not just young girls but also teenagers, adult women, and even male fans calling themselves "Bronies".

What made this series stand out was its high production quality, appeal to wider audiences beyond little girls, and focus on relatable themes like friendship and acceptance [2].


Some key stats on the Friendship is Magic legacy:

  • Aired for 9 seasons from 2010 to 2019 totalling 222 episodes and 2 movies.
  • Broadcast in over 50 countries and recognized with awards for animation quality.
  • Mainstream media coverage of the unexpected adult male fandom around "Bronies".
  • Expanded into books, comics, toys, clothing, games, and more.

My Little Pony: The Mobile Game Phenomenon

With the Friendship is Magic craze in full swing, Gameloft seized the opportunity to develop an official My Little Pony game for mobile. It was designed primarily for the franchise‘s core demographic of young girls aged 5-12 years old.

Some fast facts on the development and performance of the game:

  • Released on November 8, 2012 for iOS and Android
  • Developed by French studio Gameloft, known for mobile adaptations of popular IP
  • Primarily monetized through in-app purchases of virtual currency
  • Estimated over 10 million first year downloads based on various reported metrics [3]
  • Generated upwards of $1 million in monthly revenue during peak periods [4]


Core Gameplay and Progression

The gameplay allows players to build up the Ponyville town, customize unique ponies, decorate houses, grow food, and craft items. Key activities include:

  • Collecting ponies – over 300 to acquire based on the show‘s characters
  • Playing mini games to earn points and level up
  • Gardening, farming, and crafting resources
  • Designing your own ponies with accessories and costumes
  • Unlocking new areas and expansions over time

Reviews indicate the gameplay is quite simplistic and tailored for young girls versus older gamers looking for in-depth mechanics or challenges. Completionist players can sink dozens of hours into collecting all available ponies [5].


Technology and Platform Support Over the Years

The game was built using Gameloft‘s proprietary cross-platform game engine and released simultaneously on iOS and Android. The engine provided support for:

  • 2D sprite graphics rendered efficiently on mobile
  • Data persistence and account syncing across devices
  • In-app purchasing integration with Apple App Store and Google Play
  • Social features like gifting, leaderboards, and guilds

Over the years, Gameloft has updated the app to keep working on newer iOS and Android versions. The latest 1.99.1 update was released in December 2022 continuing support even 10 years post-launch [6].


The Enduring Popularity of Ponies

While the My Little Pony gaming app is most popular among the 5-12 girls demographic, the brand has shown surprising multi-generational appeal. This is driven by nostalgia, the Friendship is Magic fandom, and underlying universal themes.

Going forward, it remains to be seen how long Gameloft will continue to maintain the game. But the ponies‘ magic has certainly worked for over a decade, making this one of the longest running official mobile IP game adaptations. My Little Pony as a franchise continues galloping on all these 40 years later.