Biz Features

This Man Turned His Tragic Accident Into A Video Game Startup

by . January 19th, 2015

So what happens after you experience a life-altering accident that leaves you with a broken back?

Why not turn it into a business?

A few years ago, Mark Major from New Zealand was enjoying his China internship in a busy street in Beijing. One moment, he was savoring the restaurants offered by the eerily-named Ghost Street. Then another, he was falling into a 9-meter deep construction shaft.


7 years ago

Seven years later, Mark is launching his freefall game, Plummet, based on his story.

The Fall

In an Imgur post recounting his experience, he said “My last memory (I hit my head pretty bad), was heading into that 7 Eleven. This is me about a month after the accident, which is 7 years ago now.”

“The plummet resulted in a fractured T6 vertebrae, but as you can see I am standing up here as I was very lucky not to be left paralyzed by my broken back. What you can’t see is that I am wearing a back brace, which I had to wear for many months during recovery. Today I still receive help for my ongoing back issues from an osteopath, but I am always grateful that the accident didn’t leave me worse off.”


The hole

Major woke up with a sore head and a tight chest while covered with pieces of wooden planks he had crashed through. He spent more than an hour on the bottom of the 9-meter hole before firemen rescued him from the enclosed space. According to his website, he sustained nerve damage and still gives him consistent pain.

The Inspiration

Major cites his chance reading of Tim Feriss’ write up on Chad Mureta. According to the blog Four Hour Work Week. Chad Mureta was in a horrible truck accident while trying to avoid a deer. During his recovery, he was introduced to app-development.

Two years later, Chad Mureta developed more than 40 apps that were downloaded 35 million times.

Major was inspired by Mureta’s story, recalling his free-falling accident and decided to transform it into an app.

The Game


This week, Mark Major released his game called Plummet in the Apple Store with plans for Android users in the next few weeks.

In Plummet, you play as Major as he freefalls in the Beijing construction shaft where he fell. The game features cartoon graphics based on the hole itself and Major, who admitted his beard is not so ginger.

The aim of the game is to guide Major through the shaft and avoiding obstacles by tilting your phone (making use of the gyroscope). The further you go through the hole, the higher your score.

Download the game from the iTunes store right here. Check out his company website (humorly named Broken Back Games) right here.

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What do you think of Mark Major’s story? Comment below!


Kevin is a reader first, a writer second, and a gamer somewhere in between. When not rooting for Tyrion Lannister for the Iron Throne, he's probably writing some morbid short story. He enjoys some surreal art, clever advertising campaigns, and a warm cup of coffee while reading Murakami.