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The mobile game developer says it's too much work to technically support it

Rovio's hit mobile game Angry Birds has a new member of the family -- Angry Birds Space -- and while Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating system get to offer the hot new game, the Windows Phone platform is left out.

Angry Birds is undoubtedly one of the most popular apps in the mobile realm. Rovio reported that the app hit 500 million downloads in late 2011, but its popularity doesn't stop there. Angry Birds merchandise such as plush toys and T-shirts were released, and as of fall 2011, one million plush toys and one million T-shirts were being sold monthly. The game even reached into film deals with 20th Century Fox and plans to open its first retail store in Helsinki. Some reports say the game will reach one billion cumulative downloads in the next few months.

With this kind of popularity, it's easy to see why makers of mobile handsets and platforms want the game to be featured on their devices. Rovio launched Angry Birds Space just yesterday, which is the latest addition to the Angry Birds family that was made in part with NASA in order to offer all new realistic space features within the game, and tech giants want a piece of what will likely be another knockout game. It offers new birds, new moves/tactics and a whole new space-like setting.

While iOS and Android-based phones were able to launch Angry Birds Space in their respective app stores starting yesterday, it was discovered that the Windows Phone platform would be left in the dark due to the fact that it's too much work for Rovio to support it.


"If you look at activations, Apple's iOS and Android are clearly bigger than any other platform," said Peter Vesterbacka, chief marketing officer of Rovio. "We want to be on all screens, but we have to consider the cost of supplying to smaller platforms. With Windows Phone it's a lot of work to technically support it.

"We're the No. 1 app in the Windows Phone app store, but it's a big undertaking to support it, and you have to completely rewrite the application."

While this seems like potential trouble for Microsoft, it's an even harder blow to Nokia, which is attempting to revive itself by making smartphones for the Windows Phone platform. Without hot apps like Angry Birds Space, this could put the handset maker in a tough spot because it shows that big game developers like Rovio do not have much confidence in the viability of the platform.

Microsoft plans to expand Windows Phone into developing economies with cheaper smartphones, which is an area widely untouched by Apple or Google.

Rovio mentioned that it plans to release four more Angry Birds games by the end of 2012, and if its attitude toward the Windows Phone platform doesn't change, both Microsoft and Nokia could fall far behind in the mobile realm.

Updated @ 1:23pm
Now, Rovio's CEO is saying that Angry Birds is coming to Windows Phone according to Reuters. "We are working towards getting Angry Birds Space to WP7," said Rovio CEO Mikael Hed. This statement directly contradicts that of Rovio's CMO. Perhaps a little better communication between the two should be in order...

Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters



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ouch
By tekzor on 3/23/2012 10:37:15 AM , Rating: -1
Microsoft needs to step up its game unless its game plan is to stay below apple and google forever. I bet there are people out there that will be very put off with not having the latest angry birds on their phone and that will be a loss in sales for msoft.

I really like my htc trophy as a well developed phone but the market is abysmal and barely competes with apple store or play market.




RE: ouch
By tayb on 3/23/12, Rating: -1
RE: ouch
By jnemesh on 3/23/2012 10:51:21 AM , Rating: 1
Really? "Way too early in the game"??? By this time in its life, Android had claimed 20% of the market. Microsoft will be lucky to break 3%, they are currently sitting at 2.5%. People are reacting very negatively to Metro, despite what you personally think. EVERYONE I have talked to HATES it on the Xbox, and the customers I deal with on a daily basis who deal with home technology on a daily basis HATE the implementation in Windows 8.

Let me ask you...how many more months or years do we need to wait before declaring this platform a failure? It certainly didnt take the tech community this long to bury WebOS, or to condemn RIM's Blackberry platfom. How long is long enough?


RE: ouch
By tayb on 3/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: ouch
By c8m on 3/23/2012 12:10:19 PM , Rating: 5
This story is false. According to Reuters: Rovio CEO says they are working on Angry Birds Space for Windows Phone.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/23/net-us-r...

Great news for Windows Phone owners. Xbox Live achievements incoming!


RE: ouch
By Souka on 3/24/2012 2:13:13 AM , Rating: 2
" It certainly didnt take the tech community this long to bury WebOS, or to condemn RIM's Blackberry platfom."

It didn't take long to bury RIM?

RIM is still far more popular than Windows...still has a sizable market share, and was only just recently passed in Canada by iOS devices.

Yes Android/Apple stomped on RIM quite hard...but it didn't happen overnight.

If I had to choose one type of device it would be:

Work cell: Apple, Windows, Android, RIM
Home cell: Android, Apple, Windows, RIM

In other words, Apple for its "fun"-ctionality (home) and manageability (IT control at work).

My $.02

I've owned smartphones for over a decade...changing carriers, brands, makes, models about every 3 months as I'm in IT and evaluate/plan/deploy them for where I work).


RE: ouch
By Obujuwami on 3/23/2012 12:32:42 PM , Rating: 2
I find your response funny....since Windows 8 is only in a beta.

I think what you meant to put was withe Windows 7 or IE8 and, as someone who supports enterprise networks, I do also hear that people don't like IE 8 and Windows 7. Interesting thing is that most of those people don't like the computer, or don't want to learn something new, or have a technical snafu that IT can't compensate for without using XP mode (old software). Over all, since deploying Windows 7, I have had a generally positive response to it and people think it's much nicer than XP. I do get some complaints about IE8 and 9, but those are generally training issues, and are resolved quickly.

I, personally, support 2 HTC Trophies and they are quite nice. I like the interface but the app store is terrible. I also support Andriods and iPhones (I own a HTC Thunderbolt) and I like the Windows interface over all of them.

One thing we should thing about, and thats everyone who works in tech, is where are we going. Tablets are going to be the next real battleground for MS, Apple, Google, and any other players that want to get involved. Plus, given the fact that you will be able to shortly adapt tablets to replace most productivity computers in the work place with in 2-3 years, Windows 8 and ICS are going to be a benchmark for what is to come. If MS is able to adapt the Office suite to Windows 8 and it;s actually functional on a tablet, then they will be ahead of the game. If Google can get their productivity suite going on ICS, then they will beat both MS and Apple, but that has yet to be seen. (Haven't played with a Android tablet, so I don't know if they have adapted Docs to work on it or not)

So, with all that said, let me ask the forum if they think that's where we are going. Thoughts?


RE: ouch
By Manch on 3/23/2012 8:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
From what Ive read, MS goal is to have one OS to rule them all. Amd & Intel are hard at working getting the x86 architecture to scale down to tablets and eventually phones. I believe Win 8 arm is a stop gap until this happens. Even google sees the potential if x86 on tablets/phones. Theres an ICS beta for AMD brazos. Thos procs are now at 5W. This is of course just binned chips, but a die shrinknwill get these out with a lower tdp, and better performance.

I like the metro interface. Granted I do not want it as my sole desktop interface, but Win 8 doesnt force you to use it. You can still use the Win 7 style desktop. As far as the xbox goes, I think the metro interface works great. Ibdo think the advert tiles are way to big, and annoying sometimes but it doesnt detract from the overall experience. On the phone I think the metro is the best ui out there.

Apps are limiyed but growing. Incorporating an apps store into Windows 8 is a geat move by MS. Theres also a prohram in beta that will run android apps on Win 8. Ill find the link and post it. Its called blue something. Cant remember.

Once MS has win 8 acceoss all three platforms, developers will not be able to ignore it.

Jnemesh is trolling so just ignore him. As far as Win phone 7 having only 2.5% market share, so what. MS is supporting it, so unlike web os, it will not get tossed. People said the same thing aboutbthe original xbox, and look where its at now. MS wants a paice of this market and they have the resources to do it.

sorry bout the typos. Touch screen phones....arrrrrgh! Miss keyboards....


RE: ouch
By DrChemist on 3/23/2012 2:15:44 PM , Rating: 3
The reason android got to 20% so quick was because it was solely on verizon "the largest provider in the US" while AT&T had the iPhone. AT&T never had to push the droid until 2010. Meanwhile the droid phones were getting bigger because that's all they could offer.
If you look at the numbers people with WP7 are 75+% satisfied to very satisfied with their phone. With iPhone being 55-60% and android being 40-45%. The reason WebOS died was that it was not licensing the software to other phone manufacturers. Also note that Windows Phone will come out with an update and all phones have it in less than 2 weeks. With android you may be lucky if you get an update in a year if at all. By that time they already have the next version. Windows 8 will show how many people want a tablet that can do everything there laptop can, not everything their phone can without the phone.


RE: ouch
By MrBlastman on 3/23/2012 10:59:12 AM , Rating: 4
Microsoft just needs to throw cash at these companies, like they did for the Xbox. I hated them when they bought Bungie and Rare but in retrospect, it was a very smart move. They immediately had access to a hot IP that would sell consoles. I hope they consider doing something similar here.

Likewise, I think Rovio is banking on this. It sounds to me like they are saying, "Meh, too expensive to support this," *wink wink* while rubbing their fingers together. Microsoft and Nokia NEED this to work. What's the point of having billions of money in the bank if you don't use it to help you expand and make more?


RE: ouch
By HandiCapable on 3/23/2012 10:52:20 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe MS will offer to facilitate Rovio's development after this coverage?

Rovio is talking about going public in the next couple of years so currently they have very strong incentive to maximize their contribution margin.

They'll meet their valuation goal only if investors are confident that the company's expenditures indicates solid decision making.

So it's not in their interest to support a platform that isn't showing the growth capable of driving significant near term ROI.

I think the decision might have been different if they were looking to stay private, because then it's a speculative investment that isn't at odds with external pressure.


RE: ouch
By abzillah on 3/23/2012 11:11:41 AM , Rating: 1
Angry birds can suck it.


RE: ouch
By nafhan on 3/23/2012 11:48:58 AM , Rating: 4
...eh, not that your necessarily wrong, but don't forget there are a LOT of people who don't give two $#its about Angry Birds or games in general.

I, for instance, absolutely consider myself a gamer and even somewhat of an Angry Birds fan, but mobile gaming isn't that important to me, and Angry Birds even less so. If Angry Birds: Space didn't get released on Android, I'd just play something else next time I'm standing in line at the grocery store. I'd literally have to be straddling the fence for something like this to affect my choice of cell phone platform.

What MS SHOULD do if they want to get gamers on board is leverage some of their gaming software development studios into building Windows Phone exclusives that are GOOD (mobile version of AoE, anyone?).


“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith














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