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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: This is why
By Camikazi on 3/23/2012 6:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
Well Sony was better versed in consoles while MS had pretty much no experience, yet MS did catch up. On this front MS has as much PS experience as the other 2 they just need to learn to shrink the OS for phone and they can catch up, I hope Apple doesn't underestimate MS they did it before and look what happened to them.

RE: This is why
By corduroygt on 3/23/2012 7:31:25 PM , Rating: 2
The only experience Sony had was in hardware manufacturing and it took millions of faulty consoles before MS caught up. Not to mention Sony is a horribly managed company compared to Apple and Google.

RE: This is why
By Skelum on 3/25/2012 8:52:43 AM , Rating: 1
Agreed to Sony's management but let's extend the comparison...

Sony: Hardware manufacturer
Microsoft: Software development

Game console results: Microsoft is making more profits than Sony...

Apple: HARDWARE manufacturer.(They are not making money with OS)
Google: Service providers(Advertisement)
Microsoft: Software development

Here, Google is going to make money no matter which OS is used. They just going to make more if it's Android. Microsoft have to sell their OS. I think their entry point strategy should be the Tablets. They game Nokia 1 Billion to use WP on their phones. Then, Nokia started to manufacturer tablets...

Tablets and laptops will probably merge into hybrids in late 2012/2013. Then you will be able to take your Office suite on the go and all your legacy apps...

So I think Apple might get left out of the podium if they don't find other revenues sources... Perhaps patents are their target...

RE: This is why
By Etsp on 3/26/2012 1:02:17 AM , Rating: 3
If you think the hardware is Apple's only money maker, you have no idea. Each and every app sold in the Apple App store gives them a cut. Every song, video, movie, book sold in iTunes, Apple gets a cut. Their primary moneymaker is their platform, not their hardware.

Full disclosure: I own 0 Apple products.

RE: This is why
By Skelum on 3/26/2012 12:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
I stand corrected.

You are right... Apple is making alot of money on other sources of revenues.

That being said, they don't really open theses sources to other devices besides Apples' hardware which still makes my point partly valid. I will never go to the Apple sore or itunes store on my android or windows.

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