BMW xDrive Challenge 3D Games | Case Studies | NINJAR


Branded Games

We have been supporting BMW for half a decade now as a digital partner. Over the years we have helped them produce everything from video promos to social apps. They keep coming back to us because we have proven time and time again that we are dedicated to innovation and committed to delivering quality.

In 2011 they consulted us for fresh ideas to gain them some much needed social media presence. This would eventually lead to us creating the very successful BMW xDrive Challenge series.

A Facebook hit

The first game - BMW xDrive Challenge 2011 - was released exclusively on Facebook, at a time when gaming on the social media platform was still a relatively fresh concept. Featuring all 4 models of BMW xDrives - complete with different handling - and a big open world style map to traverse, xDrive Challenge 2011 was more fully featured and ambitious in scope than any other Facebook game at the time.

Huge open world driving game, first of its kind on Facebook

To top it of it was also one of the very first real-time multiplayer games to appear on the social platform, which was a feat in itself. Overall we had 150k+ players in total, a resounding success and the most viral social campaign BMW had up to that point.

Building on success

The success of the game led the marketing team at BMW to request a sequel the following year, and obviously we were not short on ideas and knew exactly how we wanted to improve on it.

Instead of reinventing an already working formula we decided to improve and expand the game instead. More cars, more upgrades, more tracks, more modes. BMW xDrive Challenge 2012 was bigger and better in every way, and we also made it available on an iPad with cross platform asynchronous multiplayer gameplay.

Optimised high fidelity 3D graphics whether on mobile or in the browser

The result of all our extra effort paid off as we gained a significant number of users on last year's game at 250k, as well as much higher engagement and retention rates overall plus boosted traffic on the BMW facebook page. Overall the campaign proved to be a huge success for both us and the BMW brand, so much so that they would eventually ask for another release.


By this time we started development of the third game the mobile gaming and social media space had completely changed and we were inspired to go back to the drawing board to come up with something that was more engaging with than just a simple driving game.

In depth base-building gameplay designed for casual, long tailed gameplay

This led to us implementing an entirely new base building aspect to the game that would have players coming back over a longer period of time in order to earn money for unlocking new content. It all worked as intended and we saw users return at record numbers, at over 60%.

Cutting edge real-time reflections and realistic weather system that holds up today

We also took in fan feedback from previous games, in particularly regarding the difficulty level. Many BMW fans who are not gamers wanted a more inclusive experience. So we redesigned and redeveloped the driving system from scratch and created a much more user friendly "one touch" control system that was more suitable for casual phone gaming.

In summary

BMW has been an awesome partner for us over the years and we have a great relationship with them - one built on mutual trust and respect. To this day they come to us for help and we will no doubt continue to do great work for them going forward.

We're veterans in the branded gaming space and have just the right idea to help you engage your audience through play. Don't hesitate to get in touch for a free consultancy session.