It's not just iPhone owners who are becoming addicted to the idea of slinging ball-shaped birds into buildings surrounded by green pigs. Android gamers are also getting in on the action, as the game has now been downloaded 7 million times there. Android has historically been looked at as a black hole when it came to mobile games, as it has remained largely overlooked by the major game publishers. They're all more interested in the iPhone, which is where the money is. The Android Market has a significantly higher concentration of free apps, and a user base that is less willing to pay for premium content.
Understanding this, Angry Birds developer Rovio put the game on the Android Market as a free download, and looks to advertisers to pay for an in-game presence. It's now far and away the highest performing game on the Market.
Rovio sent out this Tweet yesterday in response to a user saying that not all Android games are free: "true, but the ones with more than 50K downloads are... We just hit 7M downloads on Android."
This is, of course, on top of the 10 million times the game has been purchased on the iTunes App Store, at 99 cents a pop.
The game has brought Rovio from rags to riches. The tiny developer that no one had ever heard of as early as the beginning of this year, is now talking about Hollywood movie and TV deals, and is starting up a promising line of merchandise related to Angry Birds.
A couple months ago, video game publishing giant EA purchased Angry Birds' publisher Chillingo for $20 million, thanks to its success in marketing Angry Birds.