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Angry Birds sees 500m downloads, inspires copycats

by Kristen Nicole

It’s not that much of a surprise but it’s certainly worth mentioning that Rovio’s hit game Angry Birds has flown past 500 million downloads. In just two years, Angry Birds has soared past milestone after milestone, gaining popularity on every platform it supports. For its Android release alone, Angry Birds gained its first million downloads within 48 hours of launch. At the Slush 2011 event being held in Finland, Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka boasted that Angry Birds is the fastest growing game, and one that’s reached the most downloads of any game ever.

Angry Birds’ wild popularity and unmatched success is due to several factors that are hard to pin down, but the result is a booming industry that encompasses holiday releases including this season’s new bird for Halloween, stuffed animals lining the aisles of Walmart and other retailers, and even an upcoming movie and cookbooks (yes, cookbooks).

Angry birds impressed with rampant cloning

And even in the world of Android gaming, mimicry is the best form of flattery. Angry Birds has spawned an entire sub-system of copycat games, including Cut the Birds. Topping charts on iOS and Android markets, Cut the Birds is only the latest in a string of Angry Birds clones. You’d think Rovio would be upset by the growing boon of wannabes, but they’re rather impressed instead. In China where piracy is rife, Vesterbacka even jokes that they may look to such games as inspiration, entering the business of “pirating the pirates.”

Angry Birds has seen 50 million downloads in China alone, making it Rovio’s largest and fastest growing market.

Outfit7 expands mobile gaming, Rovio style

While many are flat out stealing themes and characters from Rovio, Outfit7 merely looks to the Finnish game makers as muses. The developer team behind Talking Tom Cat and the rest of the Talking Friends crew, Outfit 7 has seen 225 million downloads across Android and iOS, with a reported 60 million monthly active users. Outfit7 is out for world domination Rovio-style, with plans to sell merchandise around its popular personalities. This could include T-shirts, plush toys and more. They’ve already landed a TV show, so be on the lookout for a movie as well.