Appillionaires

Programmer, James Munro, on examples of iOS game success.

Yesterday, Finnish game developer Rovio released their much anticipated update to the Angry Birds series: Angry Birds Space. The series, which has seen great success, had not received an update for over a year, instead choosing to focus on bringing content to their existing titles and merchandising.

I downloaded Angry Birds Space and gave it a whirl. In short, it is an excellent update to an already fun core game mechanic. The slingshot remains as simple as ever, intuitive to use even for people who have not played the game before. I watched my partner, a new player to this series, catapulting birds-that-are-angry at green pigs through inter-connected orbital zones with ease. NASA scientists had previously explained the physics of this in some detail earlier this month.

However, the original Angry Birds was not initially the success that people have come to associate it with today. In fact, it was released on to the App Store with high expectations and flopped. I recently read in a book called Appillionaires, that only through a divide-and-conquer marketing strategy and subsequently a lucrative publishing deal with Chillingo sprinkled with a large helping of luck, Rovio were able to gain traction in the App Store and secure their place in app history.

Angry Birds Space is a fun game and successfully innovates on an already enjoyable fun core gameplay mechanic, so I certainly recommend you give it a go if you have a few minutes to fill on your daily commute. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Angry Birds, the early beginnings of Rovio and many other App Store successes you might also want to give Appillionaires a read. The book serves as an introduction to the App Store market and covers several different developers and apps, hitting home with an important message: there is gold in the hills, but many people are digging and few people succeed.

There’s a lot of truth in the message, but if anything, this fills me with more ambition and determination to succeed. At Kwalee we have a wide range of talent from veterans and newcomers alike, and the company has so much potential that everyday I wake up I am excited to travel to work and dive right back into development. Through hard work, fun games and innovation we have a great opportunity for success in the App Store and I am delighted to be part of this exciting adventure!