People with iPhones may have bumped into a game called Angry Birds. Why am I so sure about this? Well, Angry Birds have reached the #1 position of Paid Apps in tens of different countries. 61 to be exact. That’s a figure that hardly should go unnoticed. Their most recent measure of triumph is from the MacWorld Awards, where they won first place for the Best iPhone Entertainment & Lifestyle App. Angry Birds has been created by Rovio, a Finnish startup.
In total, Angry Birds have had over 10 million downloads of their game. 6 million downloads for the free Lite version and 4 million downloads for the paid app at approximately 99c a piece. This in return is about 2.8 million euros after the revenue share for Apple has been taken out. Not at all a bad sum for a little game played with your phone.
In a recent interview to Pocket Gamer, Mikael Hed the CEO of Rovio, stated that their games are downloaded faster and faster. He’s certain that they are the fastest selling paid iPhone game to date. Lima Sky’s Doodle Jump was the first iPhone game to hit four million paid downloads, Mikael Hed is relatively sure that they’ll overtake them in the near future.
What was the driver behind Rovio’s success? For one part is has to be the super addictive game logic built into Angry Birds with the rule of thumb; easy to learn, hard to master. For the other part, Apple helped them a little. The game was released in December 2009, but it took off shooting directly into top 10 charts around the world after Apple featured the game in 2010.
There’s a lot to like about Mikael Hed. The way he talks about first impressions and game quality shouldn’t go unnoticed. He states that “we’ve spent a lot of time making sure that items such as the game’s red icon stand out on the App Store”. “We’ve learnt from Apple how important attention to detail is”, he explains.
Rovio is also impressed at how sticky the #1 position in many countries for Angry Birds is. Mikael Hed states that part of this is due to the number of new iDevices Apple is selling; around 15 million per quarter, most of whose owners new to the platform and who tend to buy what’s high in the charts.
Rovio is well on its way on the acquisition path. Just last Friday, TechCrunch reported that Tapolous was acquired by Disney. The older giants are unable to move this fast nor Mickey Mouse selling like it used to in 1960s. Therefore the only way out for companies like Disney is to wander into new territories of business with acquisitions like that of Tapulous.
Rovio may very well be next.