Rovio, the developer of the beloved smartphone game Angry Birds, is retiring its classic app for Android users with just two days’ lead time, after bringing it back to much fanfare last year. The company announced on Tuesday that “due to the game’s impact on our wider games portfolio,” it would be delisted from the Google Play Store on Thursday.
The game will remain available to iPhone users and renamed as Red’s First Flight “pending further review,” Rovio said. The classic app, which launched a massive franchise including more than two dozen sequels, two film adaptations, and a Netflix show, will “remain playable on devices on which the game has been downloaded,” the developer reassured its followers.
While acknowledging the “sad news for many fans,” Rovio strongly encouraged grieving Angry Birds lovers to try out “our live Angry Birds slingshot games such as Angry Birds 2, Angry Birds Friends, and Angry Birds Journey.”
Senior Brand and Community Development Manager Shawn “Buck” Buckelew took to Discord to elaborate on why the game was being partially retired, revealing it was “negatively impacting our other games, which is what we as a company have to focus on.” Rovio Classics: Angry Birds was reanimated in 2019 for a $1 one-time fee, without the micro transactions and in-game advertising that had plagued the original version of the game released in 2009.
“If those other games do not improve and grow, then the outlook of the entire company changes,” Buckelew explained. “It is harder to create new games, or work on new projects. I’m sure that’s not something you’d want.”
Twitter responses, however, suggested otherwise. “Is Rovio afraid of accidentally making a successful product?” one fan snarked, while another quipped “Whatever happened to ‘we like our birds angry, not our fans’?” Many wished ill on Rovio, praying it would be “acquired and dissolved” and denouncing its current lineup as “quick cash-grab games.”