So by now everyone should know what is Angry Birds…what you don’t?! Well it is currently the No.1 selling iphone game and making squeallions(har har, see what I did there? zzzzz…) for the creators Rovio. I stumbled upon an interesting article in Wired that talks about how Rovio came about to make Angry Birds and how a small little game could morph into a multi-million dollar BRAND. Reading through the article, I managed to garner some tips that I’d like to share.
Oh, by the way, if you want to read the original article here is the link.
I won’t go through the article again, but will just summarize what I learned.
1) The slow burn…
Rovio was started in 2003 and Angry Birds was released in 2009. It took Rovio 51 games and almost being declared bankrupt before Angry Birds. Sometimes we see a hit and have never heard of the developer before and we think “Wow, where did they come from? I’ll just be like them and create my first game that’ll be a hit!”. Nope, you won’t…because aside from a few people that played once and hit the jackpot, creating a successful game is a slow burn.
2) You need to make it good
Angry Birds cost 100,000 Euros to make. Sure, now that they are raking in the dough it seems like a very sound investment but what if Angry Birds didn’t make it? They couldn’t have known that it would take off like it did. They took a big step in trying to make a really good product. In the cash poor indie world, money = time + talent. You want to create a hit iphone game but aren’t willing to spend the time needed or to get the right people to make it good? Being able to release a game on the app store doesn’t mean squat if the game isn’t good. Don’t cry to mama when your game doesn’t sell.
3) Your game will change
The original Angry Bird sketch Rovio did is completely unlike the final version. Game development is an iterative process. Don’t be afraid to change and mold it to become something greater.
4) Failure to sell within the first few months doesn’t mean it’s doomed
It’s become common knowledge that if an app doesn’t sell within the first couple of weeks/months of its release, it’ll be a failure. Rovio didn’t believe that. In the first 3 months after release, their game wasn’t selling on the english market. Their strategy was different…go for the smaller markets and try to be number one there, then build upon that. Once they had gotten that traction, they went with a big publisher and they got featured .