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Joe Danger, the motorbike stunt racer that kickstarted developers Hello Games’ career, made a triumphant return to the App Store this week – inspired in part by a young fan’s obsession with the game.

Apple started phasing out older apps in 2017 as it transitioned to a new system architecture. Developers could add 64-bit compatibility to avoid the cull, but it wasn’t always a simple job. The resulting “app-ocalpyse” left a huge number of legacy games effectively dead, with Joe Danger one of the casualties.

By this time Hello Games was wrapped up with larger, more ambitious projects and didn’t have time to update an aging mobile game. “It’s always been a secret shame of ours that the success of No Man’s Sky left Joe Danger unloved,” co-founder Sean Murray told Polygon.

But an email from a megafan’s father made the team want to carve out the time to revisit their first project. Jack, an eight-year-old boy with autism, loved the Joe Danger games and found them an important source of comfort and social interaction. Of course, he was disappointed when iOS updates meant they no longer worked.

“One of the things that has enabled Jack and I to bond is our shared love of video games, specifically Joe Danger,” says the dad in his letter. “Joe Danger has allowed Jack to interact and have fun with friends and family [and has become] an important coping mechanism for him.” You can read the full message in Sean Murray’s recent tweet.

Thanks in part to that email, the team has now released updates to the series for the first time in eight years. The remasters of Joe Danger and its sequel Joe Danger Infinity are available now with updated graphics, higher framerates, and gamepad support. They’re iconic games and still hold up well today.

These updates are free if you had the game back in the day, or a couple of bucks if you’re a first-time player. Either way, it’s a nice story and we imagine Jack is one happy stunt biker.

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