When your local cinemaplex begins rolling out advertisements for the upcoming Angry Birds CGI film you may be forced to wonder how a casual game about throwing birds into walls has become such a media juggernaut. To put it simply: Sales. Even though almost everyone has played some iteration of Angry Birds, the games continue to sell at a tremendous rate.
Earlier today Angry Birds creator Rovio revealed its sales figures for the recent holiday period (December 22 through 29). In that time prospective bird-flingers downloaded 30 million Angry Birds titles on their console, computer or web browser of choice. Christmas Day alone accounted for a full eight million downloads.
There are obviously many reasons for the franchise’s intense success, but most crucially we should remember that one or more Angry Birds titles are available on almost every computing platform in existence. Combine that with the games’ low (to free) price point, the series’ incredibly simple gameplay and the timeless appeal of smashing pigs with explosive fowl, and it’s easy to see why Angry Birds would be so popular. Piling the Star Wars license on top of all of that with the recently-released Angry Birds Star Wars only served to amplify the series’ appeal, and as a result Rovio made a ton of money during the holiday season.
While we applaud the simple elegance of Rovio’s business model (create hit game, repeat with slight variations ad nauseam) and are quite impressed at the sales figures Angry Birds has generated to date, we’re starting to wonder when this phenomenon might die down. People will eventually tire of the Angry Birds formula and to date we’ve seen no evidence that Rovio is capable of creating a game outside of that single universe. We doubt the company will ever completely vanish (it’s made too much money for that), but we’re very curious to see Rovio’s first attempt to completely branch away from Angry Birds.