Angry Birds turns ten years old, and there is perhaps no finer example of how dramatically the mobile market has evolved in that time.
Rovio’s bird-flinging, structure-smashing, pig-crushing phenomenon was one of the earliest successes to emerge from the new world of smartphone gaming. Angry Birds launched on December 11, 2009, around 18 months after the iOS App Store debuted.
Originally published by Chillingo, Rovio took back control when Electronic Arts acquired the publisher a year later. By that point, the game’s broad appeal had started to show — the original free-to-play Lite version (remember those?) was the most downloaded game of 2010, according to App Annie, outperforming Cut The Rope, Paper Toss and other early mobile hits. Even the self-published premium version was the eighth most downloaded game (thanks, no doubt, to its low price of $0.99), beating the likes of Farmville and Hungry Shark.
App Annie says Rovio was one of the many independent developers that benefited from the shorter development and publishing cycle introduced with the App Store, as well as the ability to self-publish. Meanwhile, the more established game studios were struggling to adapt existing franchises for mobile with unintuitive controls and gameplay attempting to emulate the console or PC experience on a touch screen.
Read more here about Angry Birds of Rovio!