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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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RE: ouch
By tayb on 3/23/2012 11:29:54 AM , Rating: 0
The vast majority of phone purchases are still non-smartphones. This market is in an infant stage and if Android has shown us anything it can change rapidly at any time.

People are not reacting negatively to Metro. Most people enjoy the Metro UI and I have not met a single WP7 user who wasn't raving about how great the UI was. People don't like Metro as their ONLY desktop UI (who would?) but I have met very few people who hate the UI under any circumstance.

Who cares what the market share is? Apple was in the cellar for years and, compared to Windows market share, still is. But they are the most profitable tech company in the world. You are way too quick to write Microsoft off and proclaim an end or victor to the smart phone battle. This is just beginning.

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.

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).

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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