Angry Birds soars past half a billion downloads

Rovio's physics-based casual game crosses massive milestone; game-related merchandise efforts expanding.

Angry Birds has become a phenomenon in the gaming space. The not-quite-two-year-old brand already has toys, books, and other merchandise bearing its name, and it has now passed another significant milestone.

Angry Birds is bigger than the Spruce Goose.

Rovio announced today that the Angry Birds franchise has crossed 500,000,000 downloads. This number accounts for Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, and Angry Birds Rio releases across a multitude of platforms including phones, tablets, Web browsers, and computers. The developer also relayed a number of statistics about players' time with the game, with a total combined playtime of 200,000 years and 400 billion in-game bird launches.

Regarding merchandise, Rovio specified that more than 10 million Angry Birds toys have shipped worldwide, and its publishing arm has already released the first Angry Birds books. Recently acquired Finish animation studio Kombo is at work on series-related cartoons and recently put out the Halloween-themed Ham'O'Ween animation.

The publisher is even creating a new place just to sell its licensed goods. Rovio's flagship Angry Birds retail shop is set to open soon in Helsinki, Finland.

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109 comments
moviequest14
moviequest14

@basshelal : Yeah,I don't think Angry Birds is a BAD game..in fact is is pretty good..I just don't think it is getting half a billion downloads because it is exceptional or that it is that impressive of a feat...it is popular because it is cheap-to-free and is considered ''popular''...we hold up the standard of ''this is amazing'' to angry birds while comparing it to retail games...but it is completely different to sell 500,000,000 copies of a retail $50 game and 500,000,000 of a practically free game.

basshelal
basshelal

You know what they say "Less is More" meaning that a simpler game will definitely get and have more than the complex game especially when that game is cheap like Angry Birds (In fact it is sometimes free like what @moviequest14 said)

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

@moviequest14 Who is 'justin bieber'? what is 'twilight' and what is 'high school musical'? *lol sarcasm*

moviequest14
moviequest14

@alkaline_DnB : I am not saying Angry Birds is a bad game,it is well made and has a solid enough gameplay...but it isn't that impressive a feat because it is set up..it couldn't have a more successful set up.

moviequest14
moviequest14

@alkaline_DnB : The reason so many aren't quite giving their praises to Angry Birds is this is a lot easier to do with this type of game...you have a title for cheap-to-free,on the most popular electronic device on earth..and the message has gotten across that if you own this device and are even remotely ''savvy'' you need this game on it.It is selling because it is cheap and new..not because of outstanding story or gameplay...take Angry Birds put it on ds ,set it to suggested retail price of $15 and get back to me when it even sell 5million ok?

moviequest14
moviequest14

@malfreds : You think that just because something is popular that means it can't be overrated? If that logic is true then Justin Bieber is the best artist alive ,twilight is the best movie of all time,and High School Musical will always be remembered as ...wait...what was that now?

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@alkaline_DnB You're right, even if 'big name' producers shift their developers away from 'traditional' games that will simply leave a void in the industry that other developers will seize on.

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

@Shanks_D_Chop True. EA has already jumped on the opportunity to capitalize on the minimum output maximum profit market, which should come as no surprise, and partnered with Zynga, the producers of Farmville and other micro-transaction Facebook games. They (Zynga...well, maybe EA too) aren't in it for producing great games that people will enjoy, they're in it for the money, pure and simple. Games that are free to play, but require micro-transactions, or paying small fees for in game items or services. It's sad, but unfortunately, it generates way more money than the best selling retail games, so I expect it to only get worse. Which is concerning, but I don't think everyone's priorities will shift in that direction. I don't think this will keep great games from being made. The industry won't last long if developers are simply trying to make a quick buck, because gamers will simply stop playing. We all need quality titles to look forward to.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@alkaline_DnB It's true, it's mostly my own opinion. I'm a zombie nut and blowing their heads off will never get old. And I do know a fair few people who are on their iPhone/Blackberry/HTC/whatever as soon as they're up so I don't doubt that there are many people out there who will be on Angry Birds first thing. And to be fair, a game such as Angry Birds has predecessors that can be played, for free, on Newgrounds or various similar sites. Some of them have blood and gore too... But yes, all of my points are purely subjective. As a more valid point I am concerned that various video game producers whose own prime concern is making money, we all know which ones those are, will see these statistics and the money to be had and will feel that the trend of games is shifting in that direction. I fear as a result that games will become more and more simplified for the sake of reaching a wider market and for maximum profit for minimum output. Leaving many gamers like myself without any quality new titles to play. And no, before anyone jumps in on this one, I don't consider myself a 'true' or 'hardcore' gamer. I'm not saying Angry Birds isn't a 'real' game either. Hell, Hopscotch is a 'real' game. But I like my games to have more depth and immersion, two things that seem to be sacrificed more and more frequently in this current age.

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

@montake I'm not interested in the movie at all, I think it's a dumb idea, but I'm also not an 8 year old. Nor am I interested in the toys, merchandise...whatever. I am, however, interested enough in the game to try the sequel for $1. I downloaded the game once and I thought it was fun and challenging in short doses, what a mobile game is meant to do, not in love with it at all, but it is amazing to see a game reach that milestone. I don't understand why everyone is bashing on it for that.

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

@Shanks_D_Chop I guess, but you do realize that you said this game would be more interesting if the birds had guns and the pigs were zombies, right before you criticized it for being monotonous and repetitive. I can't think of anything more monotonous and repetitive than shooting zombies. How many times has that been done before? Also, you see this game as a result of appealing to people's need for a fake sense of accomplishment, but how are trophies and achievements any different? I think anyone can become addicted to any game, or all games in general, depending on how much of a priority it takes in their life. I doubt anyone wakes up in the morning, and the first thing they do is reach for their phone and play Angry Birds. However, I don't doubt that the first thing a WoW player does when they wake up is turn on their computer and login to their account. I've experienced friends who no longer become fun or are socially awkward because of the amount of time they spend playing games, but I don't think Angry Birds is one of those. It's not destroying lives. Plus, it's hard to compare games like L4D2 to this...and I know what you're saying...but you have to realize that this a simple mobile touch-screen game for $1 and not a $60 console game.

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@alkaline_DnB My point is that a more fleshed out game, my pick would be L4D2, will give far, far more hours of satisfaction and enjoyment before it even begins to be monotonous. And the multiplayer aspect of that game in particular ensures no two games are ever the same. Whereas with Angry Birds I'm bored after the first level because the next level is the same, just a bit harder. And there is no personal satisfaction from hitting a pig with a physics driven bird, nothing that can measure up to the joy of popping zombie heads with a high powered rifle, although that is purely subjective. Ultimately, the point of my comment to SicklySunStorm was how can it be "beautiful" to be so easily addicted to something as dull, lifeless and, frankly, banal as Angry Birds. It's a rhetorical question, of course, and based largely on opinion. I just get rather depressed by the amount of people I know who are no longer any fun in a social situation as they sit in the corner playing Angry Birds with a stupid expression of consternation. I do not see this as a result of "beautiful simplicity", I see it as a result of appealing to people's need for a fake sense of accomplishment and really nothing more.

montake
montake

@alkaline_DnB I haven't seen these numbers anywhere before but I will admit that I was wrong you win but still I don't think the movie will be successful the only thing worth investing in is the cartoon because well it seems like it something that will work but still you win the argument good job.

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

@montake You're sadly mistaken. Rovio are in talks right now about receiving funding from a major investor that would place the company's value at $1.2 billion. In March, they received $42 million in funding from Skype co-founder and also from Facebook investor Accel Partners. The game has grossed more than $70 million as of March, and makes approx. $1 million a month from advertisements.

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

Typical jaded nuschool gamers can't even give credit where credit is due. 500,000,000 downloads is a mind-blowing feat. Regardless of how many people have downloaded it multiple times, because that logic can be applied to sales figures of any game or console on the market, so shut up about it already. The game is fun and it's a dollar...one dollar only...in a market saturated with crap games and overpriced downloadable content. Learn to appreciate.

montake
montake

@alkaline_DnB You still don't get it they haven't released the number of how much merchandise they have sold, they have mentioned how many games have been downloaded and most of those games are free its a ploy to get investors to notice them but the smart investors which is most of them out there won invest. I will admit one thing I mentioned the movie by accident cause I knew it was in production but for some reason I mentioned it anyway sorry about that.

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

@Shanks_D_Chop i could say that losing hours of your life to monotony and repetition can be said for just about any game, so what's your point?

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

@montake the guys who made this are making money hand over fist. obviously there are investors, as there is a line of toys, calendars, shirts, mugs, etc..and yes, a movie is in the works. So, what exactly are you rambling about?

Paulf001
Paulf001

Games like this will be the death of hardcore gaming.

Hurvl
Hurvl

Angry Birds have sold 500 million and sometimes it seems like there are that many Angry Nerds populating forums and comment sections, lol.

Freezezzy
Freezezzy

Just goes to show you, people will buy anything if it's only a dollar.

patsrule316
patsrule316

"that means 7% of Earth's population plays angry birds" That assumes each person only downloaded one time, which is not the case. Still, that is a lot of downloads.

DawnBlue
DawnBlue

@Lucidmike78 ...your point? Of course people don't play it for hours - it's a mobile game working as a filler during commuting or while waiting for anything anywhere, just like any other.

lilfma1209
lilfma1209

that means 7% of Earth's population plays angry birds

Lucidmike78
Lucidmike78

PVZ, Robo Defense, Fieldrunners, Cut the rope, even Bejeweled are all about a hundred to a billion times better than Angry Birds. I bet a half billion people have downloaded Angry Birds and about a half billion people have played it for only a few minutes but they love saying they play Angry Birds. And every once in a while, they turn it back on, and then close the app shortly after and wonder, "This game should be fun. Everyone says so. I must not be doing it right."

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

@SicklySunStorm Sorry, it's beautiful that you lose hours of your life to monotony and repetition? If you like, you like it, that's fine. But I'm really not sure I follow the line of your argument.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

It's a brilliant, brilliant game, it really is.... sure you can argue til you're blue in the face that it doesn't have the depth or complexity of "real" games [as many call them], but that's where it's beauty lies. It's so simple and straight forward, yet I can lose literally hours and hours on it, and never get bored of it.... I always come back when a level foxes me for the 3 stars. There isn't a developer out there who doesn't dream of making such a game....

Dezuria
Dezuria

I wish I invented Angry Birds.

leewaihoe
leewaihoe

Got bored because you couldn't get past a certain level? :P I love angry birds, it's a great time killer when you're bored etc! Don't hate :)

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

Most of my friends who have smartphones are tragically addicted to this game... pity. If the birds had guns and the pigs were zombies, then we'd be getting somewhere... As it is, it's basically the same physics based game I was playing on Newgrounds when I was 13 and there's nothing either original or exciting about it.

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

that's an half-billion humans that will take the brain implant when it will come!

pH347m3
pH347m3

And I didn't download it once.

Spacerac
Spacerac

Congratulations to these guys. It's tough work breaking out there with a game.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

funny. I just downloaded this game a 2nd time. but yeah. only bought it once. just like xbla, once you buy it you own it. so 1 purchase... two downloads.

face_ripper
face_ripper

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

HAZE-Unit
HAZE-Unit

half a billion downloads with total sales of 12m-14m I guess. I have angry birds on 4 platforms, iPhone, old android phone, new android phone and my tablet. lets do the math. 3 angry birds games across 4 platforms = 12 downloads all for only 1 person. nothing to write home about.

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

I dont like angry birds personally, this success for the developer is INSANE. Congratulations. I can't believe there are so many negative comments. It's cool to see "indie" devs get success and fame. Just leads more people to look for the next "indie" game-craze.

montake
montake

Ok half a half a billion downloads how many of them are downloads that were actually payed for because this means nothing, smart investors will not invest in your company only on a total sales number you need to show how much money you have earned (which I am guessing is not a lot) if you want to impress the investors other wise no Angry birds movie, cook book or cartoon.

Halloll
Halloll

ripoff, crush the castle ftw

beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

even if its a $1 or free, you got to admit it dominated over COD and battlefield oh yeah!!!

j_kizi
j_kizi

its an ok mobile game, not as great as everyone makes it out to be.... but in my opinion cut the rope is way better, now that game should have half a billion downloads

helldew
helldew

never thought it was anything special inistally. when i played it it pretty much confirmed my nothing special initial thought about it. i see the appeal of it but to someone who has been playing games for their entire life its not that big a deal.

earlmccormick88
earlmccormick88

At work, we sell all kind of Angry Birds Apparel' but I never knew where Angry Birds came from. My coworker was like "It's from a video game." I'm like I have all systems...Im a huge gamer....til I found out it was mainly a Iphone/Ipod game. Also, PSP and DS.

bluefox755
bluefox755

I never played or even cared about Angry Birds til I downloaded it on Chrome. It's fun, if you haven't played it, give it a try. In a world where most 60 dollar games fall flat, it's nice to see a free game that's fun and addictive.

bluefox755
bluefox755

Yeah, the game is super cheap/free...but so are thousands of other games, thousands that have come nowhere near a fraction of this number...Game is fun, not alot of lasting value...but its free, what do you expect, nobody's comparing this to call of duty

metalkid9
metalkid9

you expect that from a game that costs $1/nothing

69ingChimpmunks
69ingChimpmunks

I bought Angry Birds a while back, It was ok. I dont see why people love it so much. Must be those damn birds...they make me so angry!