Rovio, the Finnish game developer, announced that their monster hit Angry Birds has surpassed an incredible 500 million downloads. The puzzle game, which was introduced in December of 2009 to the Apple iOS, has steadily become one of the most popular games in history. As Rovio divulged, Angry Birds is played an average of about 300 million minutes a day, or 200,000 years of play time since it was first introduced. This number represents not only the original Angry Birds game but also its spin-offs Angry Birds Seasons as well as Angry Birds Rio. Even so, it’s all very impressive.
Rovio’s CEO Michael Hed, expressed his exhilaration at the announcement in saying, “This is a fantastic landmark achievement for us, and we’re extremely delighted to see such an incredible amount of people enjoying our games. We remain committed to creating more fun experiences and bringing exceptional quality to Angry Birds Fans everywhere.”
Puzzle games don’t have much success in the video game industry as users get bored and opt in for more interactive games. So what has made Angry Birds so successful? Well firstly, the design is simple, straightforward and immediately endearing: birds seeking revenge on the devilish pigs who stole their eggs. The designs for the birds, originally inspired by a simple sketch of a wingless bird, launch themselves at these pigs with the use of a slingshot. When pieces of wood, glass and concrete get in the way, that’s when each birds specialty to break through, or blow up, comes into play. This simple game plan has made Angry Birds one of the most addicting games for smartphone users and has led them to play over 266 billion levels; launching 400 billion birds.
But far from being isolated in the smartphone market, Angry Birds has developed a unique following. Not only has Rovio made the game available to Google Chrome, check out their Web Store, but has expanded into the retail market as well with collectable items. The last count was at 10 million Angry Birds toys shipped. There’s even a cartoon show and cook book on the horizon for the franchise.
Angry Birds has become one of the most addictive and downloaded games in history and has even infused itself into our culture. The recent occurrences of Angry Birds costumes for Halloween can attest to that. Rovio has stuck gold with its simple, yet extremely frustrating/satisfying game and keeps going from strength to strength as it develops new merchandise and adds new levels. You can bet that this writer will be looking forward to the next update and at the chance to destroy even more pigs.