After the small spat Angry Birds developer Rovio had with Microsoft over some preemptive advertizing, we were unsure that the popular game would be coming to the WP7. But now official word has come that Angry Birds will hit Windows Phone 7 on April 6th. The app will be packing some WP7-specific goodies too.
In a recent interview with Google's AdMob, Rovio's Peter Vesterbacka said they expect to net about $1 million every month from the advertising supported Android version of Angry Birds. The free game has been downloaded 5-7 million times since it launched just over 1 month ago. That's a lot of ads being served. On the iPhone, where Angry Birds started out, the app is a paid download with 12 million sales.
Vesterbacka also dropped some juicy stats on us in his chat with AdMob. Rovio is seeing an 80% retention rate, meaning that 80% of users continue updating the app, as opposed to removing it. Vesterbacka says they take great notice of these sorts of figures. It was not Rovio's intention to just make a "throwaway app" that they released and never updated. So they encourage users to keep playing by releasing updates.
Rovio is expected to offer Android users a payment option to remove the ads in the near future. We hope they continue being so forthcoming with their revenue when that is rolled out. Do you think they will continue seeing huge earnings from Angry Birds over time?
He revealed that his company sells "400 times more games on iPhone than on Android." But with the number of Android-based phones growing with each passing day, it will be difficult for games developers to completely ignore the platform. However, there are a lot of issues that Google will have to address, if it wants Android to be taken seriously as a games platform.
In his QuakeCon 2008 keynote today, John Carmack stated that he thinks the iPhone developer's kit is much better than the ones for Java or Brew-based phones. In terms of pure graphics, the iPhone is roughly the equivalent of a Dreamcast, said Carmack. It's feature set and horsepower can deliver what gamers saw on the PS2 or original Xbox, especially since it has a lot of RAM.
Originally, Carmack contemplated porting Orcs and Elves for the iPhone, but he didn't want to devote 3 man-months to make it happen, when he wasn't sure the company could make the money back (Carmack estimated that only about 15% of the QuakeCon audience had iPhones). Instead, id has plans for two new iPhone games. One will be an RPG syle game, and the other a "graphical tour de force." This second game will be beyond anything you've seen on the PSP or Nintendo DS. No release date was announced for these tiles, only that they were in early development.
Carmack's enthusiasm for for mobile gaming was readily apparent in his keynote. He's excited by the success of iPhone game sales, and hopes that the iPhone will drive other providers into making better hardware.