The dinosaur mini-game hidden in Google Chrome error pages can run for up to 17 million years – a nod to how long the T-Rex was alive on Earth, the creators of the game have revealed.
As part of the celebrations around Google’s Chrome browser reaching its 10th birthday this week, Google hosted a Q&A with the creators about how the game came about.
“The idea of ‘an endless runner’ as an easter egg within the ‘you-are-offline’ page was born in early 2014.
“It’s a play on going back to the ‘prehistoric age’ when you had no Wi‑Fi,” Sebastien Gabriel from the design team said.
“The cacti and desert setting were part of the first iteration of the ‘you-are-offline’ page, while the visual style is a nod to our tradition of pixel-art style in Chrome’s error illustrations.”
The team revealed that since rolling the game out in 2014 it has reached more than 270 million games played each month across desktop and mobile.
Chrome UX engineer Edward Jung said that not surprisingly, most of the game’s players came from areas with “unreliable or expensive mobile data, like India, Brazil, Mexico, or Indonesia”.
A party hat, some balloons and a cake have recently been added to the game as part of the Chrome birthday celebrations.
Jung also revealed that the team programmed the mini-game’s virtual T-Rex to run for just as long as its real-life counterparts lived on this planet.
“We built it to max out at approximately 17 million years, the same amount of time that the T-rex was alive on Earth,” he said.
“But we feel like your spacebar may not be the same afterwards.”