Angry Birds, a true success story

I’m sure everybody here has herd of Angry Birds in the past, one of the best selling games of the smartphone era, and with versions on iOS, Android, Maemo, webOS, Symbian^3, PSP, Playstation 3, Windows, and Mac OSX, you have almost certainly played it at some point before too. The game has been downloaded more than 5o million times, and is supposedly played for more than 200 million minutes a day (collectively), which in my eyes is truly incredible. Angry birds has taken the mobile gaming world by storm, so lets take a look at how Rovio got to where they are now.

It all started in early 2009, when Rovio started looking at game ideas. Senior game designer, Jaakko Iisalo, put forward a proposed screen shot with armless, and footless angry looking birds. Rovio decided to build a game around these characters. The pigs, who the birds fight against in the game, were thought of due to the swine flu pandemic that was in the news at the time. When Rovio put together the angry looking birds, and the swine flu pigs, they knew they had something going.

The initial development costs were around €100,000 and what an investment that must have been. The game was originally introduced for iOS, hitting the App Store just prior to Christmas ’09, and it hit with a huge success. Rovio continued to add new updates, with new levels, and things alike, which only brought up their downloads. Eventually Rovio had a version of Angry Birds available for the Nokia n900, and then Android, and then eventually all of those other platforms I described before. Fragmentation issues became a problem with the Android development, so in the end Rovio was forced t0 introduce a minimum specs list, where in excess of 30 Android handsets were excluded. After a warm reception on the ones that were included however, Rovio was able to go back and create a lighter version of the game for the rest of those devices.

So here I am now, with angry birds on my iPhone, iPad and mac, and with 3 copies of the game (angry birds, angry birds HD and angry birds for mac) I’ve already given Rovio $13 of my hard earned cash. Now if we times numbers like these by millions, we’re looking at what they are earning with Angry Birds. Kudos Rovio.

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  1. […] an earlier article, Hamish discussed the success of Angry Birds, a prime example. Angry Birds went from a little iOS […]



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