Angry Birds has been usurped by freemium game Smurf’s Village. The Capcom-developed game holds the current number one spot both in the UK and the US, and doesn’t cost anything to download, instead only turning a profit based on an in-game currency (in this case, smurfberries), similar to Farmville.
Smurf’s Village has a few other things in common with the Zynga game. You grow and harvest your crop, which is worth monetary value, and Facebook integration is a crucial piece the game’s popularity has likely hinged on.
But smurfberries, apparently, aren’t cheap. If you’re wondering how a “free” app is able to be this week’s top-grossing iPhone game, it’s the purchases users make while playing that rack up its revenue. It’s nearly $5 for 50 berries, and gamers can spend as much as $59.99 for 1,000 of them. Pocket Gamer speculates that some of Smurf’s Village’s success this week came at the expense of inadvertent purchases, whether by clumsy hands or the more likely culprit, kids using their parents’ iPhones. Since the iPhone will hold onto your account login info for 15 minutes at a time, children are left a wide window for boosting their smurfberry stock.
Angry Birds is holding strong in second place, and will continue to be one of the most downloaded apps for the iPhone. It’s a household name at this point, and developer Rovio is actually in production on a “lightweight” version of it for phones that don’t quite have the capabilities to run the game. In a blog statement, the company says to be on the lookout for a new Angry Birds specifically designed for “lower-end devices” – which doesn’t mean quality will be sacrificed. Instead it’s simply customized for slower phones with less processing power. And really, Angry Birds has bigger fish to fry now that the game is coming to consoles.
So enjoy the 15 minutes Smurf’s Village, our guess is Angry Birds will be back on top in no time.