Well, well, well. As if you couldn’t get your fix of sling-shotting irascible fowl on every other mobile and social platform known to man, Rovio announced this morning that Angry Birds for Facebook (officially known as Angry Birds Friends) has finally done flown the coop and left the warm nest of its beta. Avian double-speak aside, what does that mean exactly?
It means that, having gone through the requisite user testing, tweaking, and multi-billion-dollar IPO-ing, Rovio’s Facebook app — with a handful of new features in tow — is finally ready for public consumption. As to those features, Angry Birds Friends brings a number of trendy social gaming features to Angry Birds, including tournament mode, new weekly levels, new ways to earn power-ups, rewards, and, of course, tons of social integration.
As Angry Birds fanatics are well aware, Rovio launched Angry Birds Friends in beta earlier this year. On top of those things I mentioned earlier, the beta version of Angry Birds Friends has also been a testing ground for Rovio to test out new business models, like offering $1 power-ups beyond pay-to-download options or the infamous Mighty Eagle.
The game’s port to Facebook likely had the social network excited, considering that Angry Birds has been a presence on Google+ and other Google products for awhile now — not to mention the fact that massively popular games like Angry Birds could mean good things for Facebook’s revenue.
But, as to Angry Birds Friends’ (what an awkward and clunky name to say aloud, by the way) new features, they’re pretty much self-explanatory, but its new tournaments feature allows users to compete with their friends on four different levels — from Monday to Sunday. The pig-popping user with the highest overall score earns a gold trophy, with silver going to second, etc, etc. And, thankfully, unlike crowns, users get to keep their trophies forever. For. Ever.
The “New Weekly Levels” refer, specifically, to those four new levels being offered in tournament mode, although Rovio hinted that it will be launching further levels every week. Third of all, there are those power-ups, which, on top of the daily rewards users can already collect, users can now earn power-ups in tournament mode. Earn three power-up bundles and you’ll receive a shiny gold trophy.
As for context, in case it wasn’t already abundantly clear, Angry Birds is popular. More than five people use it. In fact, earlier this month Rovio announced that its coven of Angry Birds apps had amassed 1 billion downloads. To date, Rovio has released the original, Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio, newer arrival Angry Birds Space, and now, what one might consider its newest arrival, Angry Birds Friends.
If you’d asked me two years ago if Angry Birds merchandising would be extremely popular, and that an Angry Birds movie would be in the works, I would have laughed at you. But, considering I’m wearing an Angry Birds t-shirt right now, eating Angry Birds cereal, and that Rovio’s 2011 earnings were about 10-times its estimated revenues from the year prior, with 30 percent coming from merchandising, well clearly I didn’t get the last laugh.
More on Angry Birds Friends in Rovio’s blog post here.
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