Almost everyone who has a smartphone has probably heard of Angry Birds, so it is no surprise that this game is one of the most popular games available to date for any smartphone operating system including Android and iOS. So what is this game causing all the rage?
What is Angry Birds?
The game, developed by Rovio Mobile, is a puzzle style video game where players launch birds with a slingshot at evil green pigs or the structures that those pigs occupy. The structures on each level are made of materials such as ice, wood, and stone. The object of the Angry Birds game is for the player to eliminate all the pigs in each level by either hitting the structures using the slingshot to damage them, which causes them to collapse and kill the pigs.
In different levels of the game, special objects such as explosive crates and rocks are found, and may be used to help destroy pigs and structures. The game is broken up into several episodes, each containing multiple levels. The first episode is called “Poached Eggs,” which begins the birds’ quest to go after the pigs who stole their eggs. Rovio also released Halloween and Christmas themed editions of the Angry Birds game in 2010.
The game was first released for Apple’s iOS in December 2009, which made the game available for most iPhone, iPad and iPod users, and Rovio has said that they have sold more than 12 million copies, with the majority of downloads attributed to the iPhone app. This success has led the company to design versions for other smartphones such as those using the Symbian or Android operating systems.
The Android version is free and relies on advertising based revenue. In its first 24 hours of availability, the Android version was downloaded 1 million times, causing the server to crash at one point. The company has seen over 30 million downloads from its free app versions, including “lite” versions for other systems. Versions of Angry Birds have now been released for both PCs and gaming consoles as well and is expected to be just as popular as the iPhone app.
Why so Popular?
The combination of low price with its addictive game play and humorous tone has led the Angry Birds iPhone game to be downloaded over 50 million times in total across all systems. According to recent statistics, Angry Birds sees over 200 million gaming minutes per day!
For a game that cost approximately $140,000 to develop initially, it now earns over $2 million per month with half from sales and half from advertising. The game has also received positive reviews and Conan O’Brien has even mentioned Angry Birds on his late night television show. The overwhelming popularity has led to cross merchandising, which has included t-shirts, plush toys of the birds and the pigs, as well as an upcoming board game version.
In March 2011, Angry Birds Rio, will tie in with the release of the 20th Century Fox animated movie “Rio,” which is scheduled to be available for iOS and Android. The Angry Birds characters will appear in Rio de Janeiro and attempt to rescue other birds, including those from the film. There has also been some talk of an animated feature film for the birds themselves, but such a movie will be further off in the future.