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Angry Birds & 5 quick lessons

Now, who hasn’t fallen in love with these birds? Their eggs were stolen by some pesky little pigs. These pigs are in big trouble. The birds rallied and are launching themselves through the sky and eliminating each pig one by one. Ok, well, we all know the story…

Go talk to a bunch of people and ask them if they’ve ever played or heard of angry birds. I think you would be hard pressed not to find someone who has at least heard of this game or tried it.

The studio who published the game, Rovio, was near bankruptcy and the word on the street is that they tried numerous ways to come up with a success and they were on their last leg! Well, they hit the jackpot with Angry Birds. According to wikipedia, there’s been 700 million downloads. These numbers probably go up every minute or second! Let that settle in for a second. 700M downloads! Think of how much money they’ve made with small (0.99 cent style) app purchases, and ad revenues. Boggling! From a studio that almost went bankrupt, it’s an amazing story.

Coming straight from the flash gaming world, I’ve witnessed so many developers and studios try to mimic this game with different animals and the exact same physics engine. Off hand, I would say the number of close to exact copies with different characters and small alterations numbers in the hundreds! None of them have achieved the success of Angry Birds. I personally don’t agree with this approach, but for some people ”copy & repeat” strategies do work. I’m not saying anything is wrong with that from a business standpoint, and I’m not here to argue, I’m just a big advocate of innovation.

What I like about this company is they continue to innovate. They were one of the first development teams to test the capabilities of flash 11:

Think about it, they didn’t actually have to do that. They could have sat back and relaxed. Instead they continue to push, which is a trait that I personally admire.

They recently came out with a space themed version of Angry Birds which is pretty cool. It’s pretty unique with a a gravity based physics engine and a whole new twist. Outside the games, I’ve seen everything from Angry Birds painted nails, stuffed animals, all kinds of paraphanelia, PC/Console versions, to talks about a TV series or a featured film based on this clan of pissed off birds. It never ends!

To sum up, I think there are 5 key lessons that should be registered from this unique story:

1 – Believe! Anything is possible…

2 – Stay innovative! Even with massive success, these guys continue to push the envelope. It’s not only about money, it’s about innovation and making a difference!

3 – Creativity is important! You need a catchy story line to sell anything. Come up with something unique..

4 – Don’t give up! These guys almost went bankrupt and pulled through at the end. Sometimes you have to push and try something several times to get it right.

5 – Tailor your offering to your market! Alot of my coder colleagues will tell me that a game like Angry Birds is easy to make. Yes sure, it probably is. Don’t discount the work required in looking at your market in a honest way and coming up with something new that your audience would really buy. Angry Birds did a phenomenal job at making a catchy game that would do well on mobiles. Was it luck? They say luck goes hand in hand with hard work. You can’t say that these guys didn’t try!


About gbotceo

bizdev 2.0 / co-founder - gamobot


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