Key Takeaways: The Angry Birds Story

I just completed reading a rather long article on ‘How Rovio made Angry Birds a Winner’. Amazing story! If you have the time then do go through it. For the busy, here are key takeaways…

Disney 2.0

It went straight to the top of the new Mac App Store in January, selling 150,000 copies in its first week. Sixty thousand Angry Birds soft toys have been sold. In January, the trailer for the new Angry Birds Rio racked up 500,000 YouTube views in a weekend; on official videos alone, Angry Birds has had 27 million total views. In total, the “brand” has taken more than €50 million: not bad for a game that cost €100,000 to make.

Patience…

Both Heds know the value of patience: the overnight success of Angry Birds took eight years. Mikael and Niklas had been thinking about video games for long before that.

Leverage a platform…

Rather than negotiating individually with mobile manufactures and carriers, game developers could now reach an audience of millions through a single company, Apple. In a stroke, it solved the problem of distribution that had hindered Rovio.

Persistence…

"We felt we had done our best game so far." Angry Birds was Rovio’s 52nd title.

Find and conquer a small nice/market first…

"We realised very early on it would be tough to break those markets. So we tried to get a following in the smaller nations," says Matt Wilson, head of marketing. It took only a few hundred purchases to get the game to number one in the Finnish App Store. The same went for Sweden and Denmark, then Greece and the Czech Republic.

Find an influencer…

But they built a way in to the larger app stores, putting the game out through Chillingo, an independent publisher which had been successful with several titles and had a good relationship with Apple. “Once we could prove that we had got up in these different stores, then didn’t fall,” says Wilson, “we went to Apple with Chillingo and said, ‘We’ve got something here.’”

Simplicity rules and constantly reward your users…

"It’s also incredibly simple," says Griffiths. "If it were too complicated, people wouldn’t persist. Addictions in the true sense are about constant rewards. I’ve never met anyone addicted to a bi-weekly national lottery, because there’s only two chances a week. On a slot machine, when you can gamble 30 times a minute, that’s very rewarding. On a game like Angry Birds, it’s every few seconds.”

Not bad for the initial capital…

For the initial outlay of €100,000 (the company has since invested more), Rovio has had 20 million paid downloads for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and 20 million ad-supported downloads on Android.

Read the entire story - How Rovio made Angry Birds a Winner