It seems plenty of people still have the Angry Birds bug, with the game’s recently launched sequel notching up 10 million downloads in its first three days. Game maker Rovio hit Twitter to announce the news, apparent confirmation that the bird-flinging, pig-crushing game has lost none of its appeal among smartphone users looking for an easy way to kill a bit of time.
While some players have gone online to praise Angry Birds 2 for its impressive graphics and enjoyable gameplay, others voiced disappointment at how the Finnish gaming company has disrupted the pace of play in the pursuit of profit.
Unlike the original, you now have a limited number of lives for each challenge before things get sticky. To get new lives you either have to make an in-app purchase, watch a bunch of ads, or wait a full 30 minutes before you can continue. Part of the enjoyment of the original Angry Birds was that you could try over and over to complete a level with little disruption to the flow of the game – and no damage to your bank account. That’s no longer the case.
— Angry Birds (@AngryBirds) August 2, 2015
Typical of many of the reviews in the iTunes store, player Ollyn84 said the game’s frustration now comes not from trying to destroy those pesky pigs but “from having finite lives and having to wait or continuously pay out to keep playing,” adding, “Long gone is the pure unadulterated fun, that ‘just one more try’ addictiveness that encapsulated Angry Birds.”
The first Angry Birds game cost $1.99 when it launched for iOS in back in 2009. Since those days, however, the trend for developers has been toward offering smartphone games for free and including in-app purchases to unlock new levels, functionality, or virtual goods. That’s all well and good, but many players of Rovio’s recently released sequel are clearly upset with the way the company has incorporated the freemium model into the game.
While those disappointed with the game’s new monetization system will likely cast aside Angry Birds 2 after a few plays, the company will be hoping enough people become suitably addicted, prompting them to view the game’s ads, or better, make some in-app purchases.