Angry bird, a physics-based bird flinger game, has crossed over 30 million downloads on Android, according to Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka who made this announcement while speaking at a GDC panel on Android monetization. On the other hand the download count on iPhone is over 12 million i.e. less than half compared to Android. It is worth noting that unlike iPhone on which the Angry Birds app costs 0.99 cents, the Android version of the game is totally free. The numbers clearly indicate the love for both Angry Birds and free games, and also shows the potential of Android to dominate iOS in the future.
Angry Birds is developed by Finland-based Rovio Mobile, in which players launch birds at pigs using slingshot with the intension of killing all the pigs on the playfield. The game was first released in December 2009 for Apple’s iOS. Since then, over 12 million copies of the game have been purchased from Apple’s App store.
In October 2010, Rovio launched a free version of Angry Birds on Android. The game is being being downloaded like crazy and within just five months has crossed 30 million downloads, netting a run rate of 6 million downloads per month.
In addition to the initial downloads, 80% of the Android users downloaded updates for the games, which shows that a large majority continues to play the game after downloading it on their devices.
Rovio uses in-game advertisements to monetize the free version of Angry Birds and was netting revenues of $1 million per month from ads alone back in December 2010. Given the growth in downloads of the game since then, these revenue figures could be 3-4x by now. The paid iPhone version of the game is ads free for now.
Rovio decision of experimenting with offering the game for free on the Android platform has certainly turned out to be a big success. Expect this trend of offering free apps to accelerate in the future.