There are a number of IPs that originated in the mobile gaming space that have broken through into the mainstream, but I don’t think there are any that have become a household name quite like the Angry Birds franchise. The original game launched in December of 2009, just about twelve years ago, and grew into a pop-culture phenomenon throughout 2010 and 2011. Toys and merchandise galore, in addition to a near-endless lineup of spin-offs and sequels. I knew things were pretty crazy when my dentist asked what I did for a living and I mentioned I reviewed iPhone games and he practically shouted in my face “ANGRY BIRDS!!" before I even finished my sentence.
As we all know too well now, mobile gaming has changed a lot from the early days of Angry Birds, and most of the follow-up games in the series went down the path of free-to-play and IAP. Long gone were the days of the 99¢ puzzler that received a constant stream of new levels. Heck, even the OG Angry Birds eventually succumbed to IAP with its Mighty Eagle update. What’s more is that some of the earlier Angry Birds games were built on much older technology, and as mobile hardware and software changed and evolved, it became harder and harder to continue maintaining those earlier games. This is why back in 2019 Rovio had to pull some of its older titles, including the original Angry Birds which had since been renamed Angry Birds Classic, from digital App Stores. Talk about losing a major part of mobile gaming’s history. Want a hit of nostalgia? Check out the very first Angry Birds launch trailer in all its low-resolution glory.
Man, that seems SO quaint nowadays. Well since those removals in 2019 Angry Birds fans have been vocal about bringing back some of the original Angry Birds games, even starting a #BringBack2012 hashtag on social media platforms in reference to 2012 when many fans considered Angry Birds to be at its peak goodness. The campaign received a huge amount of support, and Rovio acknowledged its success over the summer by saying that they’d seriously look into making those games available again someday. And today they’ve posted an update on where they’re at with that initiative, starting with the original Angry Birds aka Angry Birds Classic.
As mentioned, the original Angry Birds was built on outdated tech, so in order to bring it up to modern standards Rovio is literally rebuilding the game from scratch in Unity using the 2012-era version of the game as reference. This allows them to easily maintain the game into the future, bring it to additional platforms more easily if they choose to, and add in some new features like cloud saving and expanded language support. They aim to bring back as many of the levels, characters, and content from that 2012 version of Angry Birds as possible, and they will do so as a premium title with no ads. So when is all this happening? Hopefully in the first quarter of 2022, and now that they’ve officially announced the return of the original Angry Birds game, expect more updates on its progress in the coming weeks and months. Be sure to check out their blog post for even more details on this tale of resurrection.