Rovio’s Angry Birds Looking to Take Over the World: Now Has 263 Million Monthly Active Users
Not many development companies can boast perseverance the likes of which we’ve seen from Rovio. The developer of the popular Angry Birds franchise actually tried 52 times to launch the line of games and faced repeated bitter rejection. That Thomas Edison-like grit has helped to turn Rovio into one of the most successful developers of mobile games and now the developer is announcing a new milestone.
As at December 2012 Rovio is now seeing 263 million active subscribers. This is a sizable 30% increase on figures recorded at the end 2011 and sign that Rovio and the Angry Birds saga may finally be getting ready to move into the big leagues. To be sure, Rovio isn’t quite hitting at the levels that players like Zynga are currently at, but for a small startup 200 million+ active users is quite an achievement.
Angry Birds closing in on competitors
The Angry Birds game might have been slow to gain traction but now it seems like it’s the one game that everyone on iOS must have. Android owners have joined the party too and this no doubt helped Rovio with the massive uptake over the Christmas holidays.
Competitors like Zynga must be surely worried about the progress being made by Rovio and the relentless Angry Birds. Rovio’s 263 million monthly active users aren’t that far behind Zynga who has a 311 monthly active user base plus a whopping 264 million active users on Facebook. Combined Zynga has more active users but unlike Rovio, Zynga and its hoard of games isn’t moving and appears to be stuck in sand. In fact, Zynga is arguably shrinking, having announced the discontinuation of several games last month.
It is also important to point for the analysis of the mobile gaming pecking order that Rovio pretty much has one game out. Sure, Angry Birds comes in different flavours but qualitatively the developer has only one game.
It isn’t clear what the strategic objective of Rovio is and so far the developer has put a lot into developing spinoffs to the Angry Birds game. The company is still a privately held one and although the games are heavily leveraged on mobile platforms, there hasn’t been a widespread push to make the game more popular on social networking site where only one version of Angry Birds was launched late last year on Facebook.
Should the strategic outlook change, Rovio could very well shake up things at the top. The company seems to operate much in the same vein as Google where simplicity and sticking to one’s strength seems to be the order of the day.
It is obvious then that should Rovio branch out and widen its offerings, more investors will stream in and sooner or later an IPO may be in the cards. By then there should be nothing to stop it from totaling dominating the mobile gaming space as key players like Zynga—even EA sports are faltering in the changing climate of mobile and social gaming.
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