Rovio’s been fielding questions on their Twitter account from users in a conversation that went from inquiries about a Christmas add-on to why Angry Birds is free on Android and not on other platforms. Firstly, yes: there will be an update for Android (as well as other platforms) come Christmas time. (Here’s the tweet they responded to the question with.) Many were asking about it because Android was left out of the Halloween update (even though we received a whole new set of levels for free around the same time.)
And when asked why they offer free downloads on Android, they responded “because it’s the Google way.” One user wasn’t having that though: not all games on Android are free. Rovio came back with a very interesting stat, however:
@Andrew4Lyf true, but the ones with more than 50K downloads are… We just hit 7M downloads on Android.
Wait, what? It’s only been a month and a half since the popular game was released on Android and it’s already reached 7 million downloads. (We assume these are numbers from GetJar and the Market combined.) I don’t even want to begin thinking about how much money they’re making from ads, but something tells me they’re quite pleased with how this little experiment has turned out.
As we still experience growing pains in the Android market and as developers try to find more ways to make money, we’ll continue to see freemium and ad-supported models favored over paid downloads. If any developers were toying around with the idea of an ad-supported game, Rovio’s achievements should do well to convince you that it’s worth a shot.