Rovio has put us in an interesting predicament with our end of the year coverage. It's impossible to not somehow mention Angry Birds [99¢ / Lite / HD], but strictly speaking, it is a game released in 2009. December 10th, 2009, to be exact. The game's appearance on the App Store was without much fanfare, as it was (and still is) published under Chillingo's Clickgamer brand. Established in late May of 2009, Clickgamer is Chillingo's secondary brand to offload casual titles and other games they wouldn't label as an "AAA title" like iDracula [99¢], and other top games of the time.

From the original press release:

“This moves allows Chillingo to focus the Chillingo brand on AAA titles, and at the same time allow us to leverage our marketing resources to promote clickgamer.com to support the publishing of high quality titles across various genres in the App Store” said Joe Wee, Director and co-founder of Chillingo.

Chillingo's decision to relegate Angry Birds to the Clickgamer brand seems to be a clear indication that they had few expectations of the game which has since become their flagship title, and likely played a major role as a bargaining chip when EA acquired Chillingo for $20m. Looking back at the original thread on our forums and our own review, Angry Birds was unanimously loved, but many mentioned there "only" being 63 levels and the lack of any kind of online leaderboards as things that detracted from the game.

Obviously, Rovio didn't give up on Angry Birds, they stuck to their guns and released a constant stream of updates through 2010. Angry Birds charted in one way or another since its release, but it wasn't until late February that it got a foothold on the top of the charts-- A position it's more or less held on to since then. A HD iPad version later appeared, as did a new self-published seasonal game, Angry Birds Seasons [99¢ / HD] which has enjoyed similar success.


Graph courtesy of AppAnnie

Rovio has basically rewritten the definition of success both on the App Store and in the world of Android. Earlier this month they announced that they've reached 50 million downloads, and in a recent interview with Tech n' Marketing mentioned that over 80% of people keep the game installed. Some other amazing statistics are mentioned in the same interview. 200 million minutes of Angry Birds is played every day which compares favorably to basically every other form of visual entertainment including primetime television.

Next year Rovio has plans to bring Angry Birds to home consoles, and in a interview with the BBC, they even confirmed a sequel was in the works. While Rovio remains guarded with their exact plans for 2011, the fact remains: With a pool of millions of Angry Birds fans, anything they release will likely also rocket to the top of the charts.

  • Theorioles33

    Angy Birds is the game of the year hands down. How can it now be?

    • Theorioles33

      NOT be. :)

  • Deamon34

    Angry Birds is the Mario of IOS & I love it!

  • E_Domina

    I wonder what bringing it to consoles will do to the market

    • Jet

      Nothing. It wouldn't work unless they completely change the game.

  • Adams Immersive

    Congrats to Rovio!

    Weirdest statistic I get from this article: Angry Birds is a fun game with a small footprint... yet 10 million people have deleted it?!

    Interesting comments on Android too, despite Angry Birds apparently being one of the Android success stories:

    "Android is growing, but it’s also growing complexity at the same time. Device fragmentation not the issue, but rather the fragmentation of the ecosystem. So many different shops, so many different models. The carriers messing with the experience again. Open but not really open, a very Google centric ecosystem. And paid content just doesn’t work on Android."

  • lukwtwz

    Although I've never played Angry Birds, its success seems similar in nature to that of Kim Kardashian. Scant Coverage-->No Coverage--->Coverage--->More coverage---> Still More Coverage--->Effectively Covered for life, regardless of fundamental contribution and/or original inspiration.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Perhaps you should forgo the 99¢ and see why it gets so much coverage.

      • lukwtwz

        I'm not used to thinking of pigs as antagonists, but looking at the more recent concept art, I see the birds' true colors are starting to show - even precede them, for which personification sheer production is to be thanked. Maybe after seeing the movie, some people will exit the theater through opposite doors, while others will leave debating the finer points of relativism. And then the birds' nest is fully assured, regardless of the countless concussions they endured.

    • CC7

      What a stupid comparison and completely irrelevant. Rovio actually DID something to deserve their recognition. Angry Birds is a carefully constructed franchise centered around meticulously created characters.

      It surprises me how many people now jump on the "Angry Birds is nothing special" bandwagon without looking at the INITIAL enthusiasm for the title all over the world. It's become popular to hate on in it.. because it is now a popular title. How pathetic. Well, sheeple will be sheeple and go with the masses..

      Remember the extremely well done VIDEO preview that Rovio released before the game? That was unheard of before Angry Birds. Huge production value and extremely well done. For a .99$ game the production values on that video were insane. Now as an after thought one can see how far the developers have thought about the whole thing. It's quite genius actually.

      Game is good. There is no denying the first reactions of people. Business model is extremely good. There is no denying the success.

    • CC7

      What a stupid comparison and completely irrelevant. Rovio actually DID something to deserve their recognition. Angry Birds is a carefully constructed franchise centered around meticulously created characters.

      It surprises me how many people now jump on the "Angry Birds is nothing special" bandwagon without looking at the INITIAL enthusiasm for the title all over the world. It's become popular to hate on in it.. because it is now a popular title. How pathetic. Well, sheeple will be sheeple and go with the masses..

      Remember the extremely well done VIDEO preview that Rovio released before the game? That was unheard of before Angry Birds. Huge production value and extremely well done. For a .99$ game the production values on that video were insane. Now as an after thought one can see how far the developers have thought about the whole thing. It's quite genius actually.

      Game is good. There is no denying the first reactions of people. Business model is extremely good. There is no denying the success.

      • lukwtwz

        I agree with you. First reactions were undeniable, and liking winners makes them even more likable. They won - there are receipts to prove it; the chairs will be filled, the shirts stuffed, the hats trumpeted, the buttons held fast, more levels and a refill, please. Now, having displayed such ignorance, I'm obliged to at least try Angry Birds for the sake of saving face. I'm pretty sure it will be good.

      • Noman

        Are you that guy from the aralon thread?

  • EastsideStompers

    I never tire of those snorting pigs: ) Brilliant game! I spent hours playing recently stuck in an airport waiting for my plane to get dug out of the snow. The only thing flying that day was time...

    • EastsideStompers

      ...and a few birds of course; )