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Game Business - Angry Birds Success story

The Secret Behind Angry Birds Success Story

Angry Birds Success Story


Angry Birds franchise is one of the most downloaded apps in mobile game history. At a certain point in time it was the number-one paid app on iTunes in 68 countries, as well as the best-selling paid app of all time.


Rovio’s global entertainment empire is built on its Angry Birds game but getting there wasn’t easy as it seems.


In 2009, Rovio was on the brink of bankruptcy. Angry Birds was their 52nd mobile game they made and they didn’t have space for mistakes.


Millions and millions of downloads


When the game launched, Angry Birds was downloaded over one million times on the Apple App Store. Important thing to mention is that one million downloads happened in a couple of months.


In that time period, they developed a game that not only became the next mobile hit, but they evolved into a globally recognized entertainment brand.


Angry Birds success story is now in the Guiness Book of World Records and it’s a pop culture icon. The company currently has a catalogue of more than 30,000 Angry Bird-related products on sale in more than 500 locations around the world.


According to surveys, 90% of Americans are familiar with it, 94 % of the urban population in China knows about it and 60 million (out of a total of 65 million) inhabitants have played it at least once in South Korea. (Source)


Game Business - Angry Birds Success Story

Source: CNET


New job opportunities across the world


By the end of 2013, an animation series that Rovio made called Angry Birds Toons had been viewed more than a billion times. Rovio Mobile was renamed into Rovio Entertainment, and in early 2014 they employed nearly 900 people from Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium, United States, Japan, Korea, China and India.


Angry Birds has also enjoyed a tie-in with George Lucas’ iconic Star Wars series. It’s one of the few topics on which the governments of China, Russia and USA are all in agreement.


Game Business - Angry Birds Success Story

Source: ANSYS blog


Monetization and Retention


According to former CMO of Rovio – Peter Vesterbacka, in 2010. Angry Birds model was really simple. Apple App Store had a paid version of 0.99$, while Google Play Store had a free version, but with an ad supported model.


Those two models worked perfectly for them and in the first year of existence they had over 30 million downloads.


Mr. Vesterbacka also stated that the most important metric they focused on was retention. They managed to keep a lot of users so their main focus was building an audience that will stay for a longer period of time.


Big part of Angry Birds was to have regular updates which would track how many users play updated versions. This is how they kept track of their retention rate which had an incredible result of 80%.


Rovio announced that in 2011, they had $106 million in revenue out the Angry Birds game and merchandise sales. By comparison, the company got just $7 million in revenue during the second half of 2010. That rapid growth still continues to this day.

Angry birds success story came from building an audience first and monetizing second. Don’t focus excessively on short-term and the bottom-line. Building a fanbase comes before that.



Game Business - Angry Birds Success Story

Source: debuffed hero


This worldwide phenomenon didn’t happen overnight


There is always a bit of luck involved in the process of making a genuine hit. However the most important thing is how you progress with your game and how you think about the future.


As we mentioned in the start of the article, Angry Birds was the 52nd game made by Rovio Entertainment. All of those games were important because they were a part of a bigger picture.


Experience and learning from mistakes made Angry Birds the game that it is today. Trial and error means taking calculated risks and how you manage those risks will depend on the success of your game.


Kaj Hed, Chairman of Rovio Entertainment wrote a secret trick for new entrepreneurs:  “When you have a low budget, be funny. And if you are beginning to experience what looks like the beginning of a ride, throw curve balls from time to time.”

Game Business - Angry Birds Success Story


Angry Birds Success Story Should Inspire YOU!

Game developers all over the world struggle with getting their games the recognition they deserve. This success story can inspire you to follow the steps Rovio Entertainment followed.

Good luck fellow entrepreneurs and enjoy the success you deserve!


About The Author

Hi there, my name is Kristian and I'm the editor-in-chief of Over the past 5 years, I've been perfecting my craft in mobile marketing & online media. My other passions are music, guitars, FPS games & tennis. At we're covering all you need to know about mobile game business!


  • Tom
    August 31, 2018

    Great story, keep writting please!

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    August 31, 2018

    Truly inspiring… hope one of my games will go this big

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    August 31, 2018

    “Kaj Hed, Chairman of Rovio Entertainment wrote a secret trick for new entrepreneurs: “When you have a low budget, be funny. And if you are beginning to experience what looks like the beginning of a ride, throw curve balls from time to time.”

    LOL it’s easy to be funny when you’re rich……… dumbass

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