Finnish video game giant Rovio has delisted the paid version of its hit title Angry Birds from Google Play Store and renamed it to “Red’s First Flight” on the App Store in an effort to lure players to its other titles.
‘’We have reviewed the business case of Rovio Classics: Angry Birds, and due to the game’s impact on our wider games portfolio, we have decided that Rovio Classics: Angry Birds will be unlisted from the Google Play Store on Thursday, February 23,” Rovio said in a statement. “Additionally, the game will be renamed to Red’s First Flight in the App Store pending further review. Rovio Classics: Angry Birds will remain playable on devices on which the game has been downloaded, even after it has been unlisted.”
The developer, which recently received a $810M takeover offer from Playtika, initially offered the classic Angry Birds game for a fee but made it free in 2013. It later removed the title from the app stores in 2019 due to “outdated game engines and design’’, and relaunched a pay-to-play version named ”Rovio Classics: Angry Birds” in March last year charging users $0.99 for more than 390 ad-free levels.
According to AdExchanger, despite being the second best-selling paid title on the App Store, the game brings Rovio only $30,000 in monthly revenue, while free-to-play Angry Birds 2 saw more than $9 million in revenue and generated 900,000 downloads in January alone.
Also Read: Angry Birds Revenue and Player Statistics
With the removal of Rovio Classics: Angry Birds from the Android marketplace and the iOS version’s new name that bears no resemblance to the original one, the company now aims to attract users to its other free-to-play but ad-supported titles.
Although offering paid versions is among the main options for many developers who want to increase their income, when users’ highly variable spending habits are not adequately analyzed, they could yield negative results instead of positive ones, as in the case of Rovio Classics: Angry Birds.
Meanwhile, game developers are not the only ones exploring premium versions in an effort to boost their revenue. Social media companies Snap and Telegram launched their paid subscription plans last year, and both Snapchat+ and Telegram Premium have now more than 1 million paid subscribers.
They were joined by Twitter in early November, just after the company was acquired by billionaire Elon Musk for $44 billion. To get verified badges and access to various features like tweet-editing, 4,000 character limit per tweet and two-factor authentication via SMS, the company now requires users to subscribe to its Twitter Blue premium plan, which costs $8 when bought on the web but $11 on iOS and Android.
Although Twitter Blue has received great criticism, the increasing prevalence of blue ticks on the platform confirms the popularity of the plan and the willingness of users to pay for such features. And these seem to have been an inspiration for social media giant Meta, which began rolling out a similar plan named ‘’Meta Verified’’ for Instagram and Facebook users last week, as new lay-off rumors are floating around.