Angry Birds Space isn't coming to Windows Phone (Update: it is!)

If you're looking forward to playing Angry Birds Space on your Windows Phone, you're in for a long wait. Rovio's chief marketing officer, Peter Vesterbacka, told Bloomberg that Windows Phone users shouldn't hold their breath.

Despite the previous sucess that Rovio has had with Microsoft's mobile platform, the market apparently just isn't there. "We want to be on all screens, but we have to consider the cost of supplying the smaller platforms. With Windows Phone it’s a lot of work to technically support it... If you look at activations, Apple’s iOS and Android are clearly bigger than any other platform."

Rovio's market is already way, way bigger than Windows Phones' market share, so not supporting it isn't really a risky move for them, but it could prove damaging to Microsoft. Adding insult to injury, Microsoft's biggest Windows Phone partner is Nokia, another Finnish company, like Rovio.

It would take a pretty diehard Angry Birds fan to make a decision about which platform to embrace based on the availability of the new game, but Windows Phone is already at a disadvantage not only as a platform, but with developers. The worst thing that could happen to the budding platform is for major developers to start jumping ship, if they ever got on the ship in the first place.

Who knows, maybe after the initial rush is over Rovio will decide to support Windows Phone, but until then, it's definitely going to leave a lot of users longing for the new game.

Update: 12:00 PM EST Rovio CEO Mikael Hed has told Reuters that Rovio in fact is working on a Windows Phone version of the new game, although no release date was given. "We are working closely together with Nokia to bring our games to their platforms," Hed told Reuters. "Our mutual goal is to bring the best possible experience to our fans, including all fans using Windows Phone devices." Woot for Windows Phone owners!

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How hard can it possibly be to port such a simple freaking game? This doesn't affect me though, whether it releases or doesn't, because I find Angry Birds extremely repetitive and boring.

It's not surprising that they'd put this on the back burner. It doesn't matter so much if they can make a profit on an earlier WP7 release. Resources are limited, and most of the resources that would be consumed on WP7 are more valuable when used elsewhere. The reality is that they are working on it for several other platforms as well, so they couldn't release it on *everything* all at once anyway.

simplezz said,
Is it more complicated for developers to write games/apps for WP because of dotnet and silverlight?

Yeah, that doesn't make much sense, does it.

simplezz said,
Is it more complicated for developers to write games/apps for WP because of dotnet and silverlight?

I can't imagine so... .NET is very easy as far as I'm concerned...

simplezz said,
Is it more complicated for developers to write games/apps for WP because of dotnet and silverlight?

Well developers can use either XNA or Silverlight on WP7, with XNA being the more direct route to DirectX.

As for easier? Compared to what?

The only 'hard' part for WP7 is that hardware and App isolation is so strict for security and reliability that 'porting' Apps is not straight forward.

Outside of porting native code or OpenGL games, writing Apps for WP7 is by far the easiest platform. (Which is the only area you will find developers complain about WP7, but with the stability and security WP7 gives users in exchange, I would rather see developers a bit angry and have a more reliable and secure device.)

As for easy, go look at the contests where they had kids writing WP7 Apps. You don't even have to be a programmer and in a few minutes can have your idea thrown together in Blend and running on WP7.

Damn, good thing I have an Android phone. I really want to move to a WP7 device, but I'm really big on apps and right now, I don't think it's the best time to make the switch yet. =(

david said,
Damn, good thing I have an Android phone. I really want to move to a WP7 device, but I'm really big on apps and right now, I don't think it's the best time to make the switch yet. =(

Depending on what you do with your phone, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Also remember, in core functionality, WP7 out of the box has more base functionality.

One of my biggest Android fights has been a solid podcast App that works reliably, don't timeout on downloads, syncs well, and doesn't eat CPU cycles in the background for no reason.

It takes just one of these to be consistent and always have your stuff as you want it without second thought to make a device win ya over.

psionicinversion said,
who cares, got bored of angry birds ages ago. Oh and not paying £2.29 for it when its like 69p on iOS

This version is unique though. The style of the game changed. It's actually fun again!

david said,

This version is unique though. The style of the game changed. It's actually fun again!

That doesn't change the fact that game prices on Windows Phone are jacked up by 3x the cost they are on iPhone.

My step-son beat all the levels in about 2 hours. Seems like it is much easier than the original. I played it for a bit, and the new gameplay mechanic is actually refreshing.

Shadrack said,
My step-son beat all the levels in about 2 hours. Seems like it is much easier than the original. I played it for a bit, and the new gameplay mechanic is actually refreshing.

Ironically, my 8 year old son beat it in two hours too. It seems to be a lot easier than the original.

Shadrack said,
My step-son beat all the levels in about 2 hours. Seems like it is much easier than the original. I played it for a bit, and the new gameplay mechanic is actually refreshing.

Really? I'm sorry to hear that it's easier... Are there less levels?

Um, not so fast, they are jumping on this due to the misconception that this created, and released a statement just a bit ago.

"We are working towards getting Angry Birds Space to WP7,"
-Rovio Chief Executive Mikael Hed
-Reuters.

As of 30min ago.

thenetavenger said,
Um, not so fast, they are jumping on this due to the misconception that this created, and released a statement just a bit ago.

"We are working towards getting Angry Birds Space to WP7,"
-Rovio Chief Executive Mikael Hed
-Reuters.

As of 30min ago.

Good news. Especially as WP7 and Windows 8 share alot of code. If they get it working on WP7, it'll be very easy for them to release it on Windows 8 too which will be a substantially bigger market.

TCLN Ryster said,

Good news. Especially as WP7 and Windows 8 share alot of code. If they get it working on WP7, it'll be very easy for them to release it on Windows 8 too which will be a substantially bigger market.

Well it's already on Windows

TCLN Ryster said,

Good news. Especially as WP7 and Windows 8 share alot of code. If they get it working on WP7, it'll be very easy for them to release it on Windows 8 too which will be a substantially bigger market.

On that note, I'm actually rather surprised they haven't released a version for XBox Live Arcade...

A lot of hype for a mediocre game. Initially it was fun but many other games have great replay value. Also, if you base your phone on a game, um, yeah...

The market just isn't there. In terms of sales, from what I've heard from other developers it's about 100:10:1 (iOS:Android:WP). Might not be the case for all apps/games but it should give you a good idea of the sales per market

Rudy said,
The market just isn't there. In terms of sales, from what I've heard from other developers it's about 100:10:1 (iOS:Android:WP). Might not be the case for all apps/games but it should give you a good idea of the sales per market
I'd be surprised if the ratio from iOS:Android was 10:1. I really would be.

Rudy said,
The market just isn't there. In terms of sales, from what I've heard from other developers it's about 100:10:1 (iOS:Android:WP). Might not be the case for all apps/games but it should give you a good idea of the sales per market

In 'per unit' comparisons though, WP7 ranks higher. So 10 of iOS, 10 of Android, 10 of WP7 it becomes a draw between iOS and WP7 and Android falls behind very quickly.


Why this is important is that WP7 sales are increasing this year, and already hitting better than expected sales in Europe (where available) and even in the US with TMobile, being one of their highest selling phones.

Most projections, just based on pure financial data put WP7 ahead of Android and iOS in 3-5 years.

When this data is combined with the rollover rate of contract renewals in the US, and the frustrations of the Android platform or any other proxy data, WP7 or WP8 as it may be, could be the leading product in under 3 years.

This sets the stage for a backlash and lost opportunity of developers that have avoided WP7.

Again, a great model to use is Windows 3.0/3.1 - it offered the same approach to integrating a fragmented hardware and software market, and it was not estimated to do very well.

Initially Windows 3.x was not seen to be much or do much, with companies like Novell, Wordperfect and Lotus rejecting it completely, even with Microsoft offering to help support the development of their software to create a Windows version.

When this happened, forced Microsoft to step up native versions of Word and Excel for Windows, having not seen them as PC leading software, as their success was on the Mac.

This killed Wordpefect and Lotus and opened the door for successors.

These and other products saw a backlash as Windows adopters avoided their software once they did make the leap to Windows, as it was rushed, buggy, and they no longer had any good feelings or loyalty as they felt the companies had abandoned them by not supporting Windows earlier.

The world changed and instead of Lotus versus Excel, it was Excel on Mac versus Excel on Windows, which also fostered the great OS debates and religions we still have today.

So as popular Android and iOS Apps today share success, it will be the ones that avoid the next big thing that will be replaced.

And it is VERY possible WP7/WP8 will be the next big thing, Microsoft has done this a few times now, and every time they do the SAME thing, use the same model of integration and simplicity and every time the world thinks it will fail and are surprised when it comes out of nowhere to dominate the market, which of course also creates a lot of 'Microsoft left us behind and hide stuff or blah blah' backlash.
*(Wordperfect is the classic example of a company cutting off their nose and then complaining that Microsoft didn't help them sew it back on, especially when they released their first Windows version of Wordperfect and bypassed everything from how Windows managed RAM to even the printing system, and tried to use their own printer drivers creating one big sloppy and buggy mess.)

Rudy said,
The market just isn't there. In terms of sales, from what I've heard from other developers it's about 100:10:1 (iOS:Android:WP). Might not be the case for all apps/games but it should give you a good idea of the sales per market

I find those figures very hard to believe considering many app developers have said WP7 is the more profitable platform...

x-byte said,
No big loss. If a game make you choose between a Phone, then I pity you.

Same goes for buying a hpne to play games on it.

x-byte said,
No big loss. If a game make you choose between a Phone, then I pity you.

I pity you if you get a phone that doesn't do everything you want it to do.

They never quoted the guy as saying it won't ever come to WP7, just that it is difficult to justify re-writing the app for the small market.

Translated, that means Rovio would rather wait for Microsoft/Nokia to pay them to bring the game onto the platform. It's a good business tactic.

Except they did; "has no plans to release “Angry Birds Space” on Windows Phone, he said.", 2nd paragraph - last line.

MiukuMac said,
Except they did; "has no plans to release “Angry Birds Space” on Windows Phone, he said.", 2nd paragraph - last line.

That is paraphrasing, not a quote.

EDIT: I'm still trying to find the video for it so I can listen myself

MiukuMac said,
Except they did; "has no plans to release “Angry Birds Space” on Windows Phone, he said.", 2nd paragraph - last line.

2nd paragraph - last line. - With Windows Phone it's a lot of work to technically support it... If you look at activations, Apple's iOS and Android are clearly bigger than any other platform."

Next time you try to tell people to read something that's not even in the article, tell them they must open the link in the article to see what you're talking about. Not everyone opens links in these articles.

Bad news for the platform reputation.
Meanwhile, it is hard to argue against their point. The critical mass is elsewhere.

There's not much Microsoft can do here...except financing the game development.

nik louch said,
Sorry, where exactly do they say it "isn't coming"?

hit the link in the article...
Peter Vesterbacka, chief marketing officer of the game's maker, Rovio Entertainment said they has no plans to release “Angry Birds Space” on Windows Phone.. read the article first please