Meme Run is an endless running video game created by indie developer Ninja Pig Studios (Jordan Schuetz and his brother) for the Wii U console's eShop service. The game features extensive use of Internet memes; for example, the player character is a stick figure with a trollface for a head, and the levels are made up of ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) faces, also known as "Lenny faces". The game was designed to appeal to both hardcore and casual audiences, but has been widely criticized both before and after its release for its perceived low quality.
The game was taken off of the Nintendo eShop on March 3, 2015 by artist Carlos Ramirez due to copyright infringing use of the trollface by the developers.
In Meme Run, the player controls a stick figure with a trollface for a head. The character runs through procedurally generated 2D levels, jumping over and sliding under obstacles, until it is trapped between the continually sliding screen and an obstacle or falls into a bottomless pit. The player's total of "swag points" continually increases, and after a run, the player can post their high score to Miiverse. The levels are made up of the repeated "Lenny face" Internet meme, and other memes appear throughout the game, such as a "wombo combo!" scream when the player collects an item—a reference to a Super Smash Bros. Melee match recording on YouTube.
Meme Run was developed by Ninja Pig Studios, a small indie outfit consisting of 20-year-old (in 2014) developer Jordan Schuetz and his brother. The game contains copious use of memes, described as an "Internet meme-infused infinite runner (Yes, really)" by Joystiq. It was intended to appeal to both hardcore and casual gaming audiences by featuring both simple, intuitive controls and substantial difficulty once the character has run far enough.
The game was widely criticized before its release; in response, Schuetz responded that it was a parody intended to "troll" users and called it "Game of the Year 2014". However, Schuetz's friends in college enjoyed the game, and its description contains the quote "Tyrone rated this game 8/8 which means it's not b8 so come play m8." It was released on December 18, 2014 for the Wii U's eShop online service, their second eShop release after the poorly received puzzle game IQ Test. Schuetz has stated that Ninja Pig's future plans are "a secret".
On January 19, 2015, "Bigley Mode" was added. By pressing B on the main menu, the user would be able to play as a meme character known as Bigley.
On March 3rd, 2015, 'Meme Run' was pulled from the Wii U eShop with no public announcement. Its Miiverse community page was also taken down. A Reddit post purporting to be the copyright holder of the "troll face" meme claims he sent a DMCA notice to Nintendo to take down Meme Run. According to Schuetz, Meme Run failed Nintendo's legal tests at least three times.