If you've taken even a cursory glance at the top paid apps charts in the last six months, then you've no doubt noticed a game called Angry Birds at or around the #1 position. The venerable physics puzzler has you launching birds into precariously built structures in order to collapse them onto the pigs that dwell inside. Angry Birds practically needs no introduction, as between the lite and paid versions it has been downloaded more than 11 million times since debuting on the App Store last December. It has also been one of the most well supported games following release, as Angry Birds has received a number of free content updates during its lifespan adding tons of new levels and new functionality.
During this successful run and its many content updates, Angry Birds has always steadfastly remained at 99¢. Plenty of gamers including ourselves have commented that Angry Birds is simply the best value for the money on the App Store. That's all well and good for the players, but how does developer Rovio expect to continue to offer high quality updates to Angry Birds with an inevitable decline in the charts looming and while maintaining the game's 99¢ price point? The answer is the Mighty Eagle. The Mighty Eagle will be a special bird that you can call upon to instantly complete a level that you might be stuck on. You will be able to buy a can of sardines via in-app purchase and use those to lure the Mighty Eagle into a level and crush those pesky pigs on your behalf.
This video doesn't demonstrate any in-game footage of the Mighty Eagle in action, but serves as more of a teaser and is pretty funny in its own right:
In-app purchases have been met with both positive and negative criticism from gamers before, but seeing as Angry Birds offers a tremendous amount of gameplay for your dollar I can't see too many people being upset with another avenue to give Rovio some more money for their efforts. Some concerns have risen about players being able to buy their way onto leaderboards by abusing this IAP, but the Mighty Eagle function is limited to prevent this. Once a player uses one to pass a level, they aren't allowed to use another one until they have gone back and beaten the level they skipped on their own. If anything, it just offers a way for people who get overly frustrated being stuck at a certain point in the game to progress and then give the level a shot later on.
Pricing and a release date for the Mighty Eagle haven't been confirmed, but we'll keep you posted as we learn more about this latest direction for Angry Birds as well as the long awaited Game Center update to the game.