Positive reviews and loyal fans have added up to 10 million downloads already for Rovio’s latest app.
Last Thursday the latest Angry Birds iteration was let loose. Dubbed Angry Birds Space, this new game features flinging birds at pigs on other planets, meaning players have to navigate and use different gravitational fields to get their birds to those pigs. The news released this morning is that Rovio’s latest blockbuster game has hit ten million downloads already.
The official Angry Birds twitter account announced this morning that the game had reached the ten-million-user milestone. All of these downloads took place amidst the drama that Angry Birds Space wouldn’t be released for Windows Phone (said Rovio CMO Peter Vesterbacka). Despite the rumor mill, all non-Windows Phone users were excited and ready to download the game and eventually, Vesterbacka’s comment was revised, promising that a Windows Phone version of the app is definitely on the way.
Rovio isn’t going to lie back and enjoy the downloads however. The company has already planned to release four more Angry Birds games in 2012.
Initial reviews of the game are incredibly positive. Unlike the previous sequels to the original like Seasons and Rio, Space actually provides new gameplay. New birds, a new physics engine, and a new way to launch projectiles are helping fans download and enjoy this app much more than the previous editions. Hopefully the four new releases coming later in the year are equally innovative, instead of just the same ol’ same ol’ that Rovio did with the Seasons and Rio games.
So how did Rovio even get the idea for this latest version of Angry Birds? A tweet from NASA, actually. The official NASA twitter account (@NASA) tweeted to the official Rovio twitter account (@RovioMobile) “Hey @RovioMobile, our computers are a bit better than they were in ’69. We might be able to help you launch birds if you find pigs in space.” This was in regards to the fact that today, you find more processing power on the average smartphone than what was used to send Neil Armstrong and company to the moon in 1969. Seriously.
To keep the space theme going, on release day, Rovio attached a giant angry bird in a slingshot to the Seattle Space Needle, making it look as though the bird would be launched into space. Unfortunately, it never was, but it still looked pretty cool. Two weeks ago, Rovio let an astronaut in the International Space Station download a demo of the game to give it a real space-stamp of approval. NASA scientists even helped Rovio design the new physics engine that flings birds through different planets’ gravitational pulls.
You’d think that the marketing team at Rovio must be rolling in experience and money, and yet: no one at Rovio headquarters really has much marketing experience at all. And, putting the bird on the Space Needle? T-Mobile did it for the company for free. But, spontaneous and elaborate marketing set Rovio apart and give the company its good name.
That kind of marketing scheme is what’s helping Rovio make more and more revenue from merchandising, licensing, and books, and less and less from actual game sales. The company is also looking to release a film and animated shorts all centered around their feathered projectiles that will undoubtedly make the company a truckload of money. People love those Angry Birds.
Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em, Rovio and Angry Birds has made a mark on pop culture and mobile gaming. And, the company is only looking to further that influence through more games and more side products. If you want to read more about mobile apps, check out our blog post about the latest Facebook game sensation, Draw Something.