In a surprising move, Rovio have decided to take down the original Angry Birds game from the Google Play Store. Titled Rovio Classics: Angry Birds, the game was a one-time purchase that gave players the full original Angry Birds experience for less than one dollar. The game was faithfully recreated on the Unity engine, and came with a bunch of quality-of-life features, without ads or microtransactions.
In a statement on Twitter, Rovio confirmed that the game was being taken off the Google Play Store “due to the game’s impact on our wider portfolio.” Reading between the lines, this seems to suggest that many players were choosing the original, paid Angry Birds experience over its free-to-play sequels with microtransactions. Rovio points players to these games in its announcement, hoping fans “continue to bring that passion to our live Angry Birds slingshot games.”
As for iOS users, the game is being renamed on Apple’s App Store to Red’s First Flight, “pending further review.” This change in title removes the Angry Birds and Rovio branding from the title, and will make it less likely to show up in searches on the App Store for Angry Birds games.
The first Angry Birds game launched back in 2012 to hit success. Ironically, the removal of Rovio Classics: Angry Birds from the Google Play Store is reminiscent of what happened with 2013’s Flappy Bird. Originally an iPhone-exclusive title, Flappy Bird was a mobile platforming game by .Gears, which was taken down a year after release when an influx of new players made the game hugely successful. Developer Dong Nguyen said the pressure from the success was too much, resulting in its removal from the App Store.
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