Media and gaming outlets reported early Friday that the follow-up game in the wildly popular Angry Birds franchise had registered one million downloads just 12 hours after it was launched Thursday.
By Friday afternoon the total had risen to 4.4 million downloads and showed no sign of letting up.
“This has exceeded our expectations!” exulted Rovio communications chief Kaisu Karvala.
Karvala said that so far the figures are very encouraging, especially considering that downloads in populous China had not yet been factored into the numbers.
Gaming industry analyst Tero Kuittinen pointed out however that the numbers so far are roughly consistent with the performance of Rovio’s previous installment in the series, Angry Birds Space.
“They are quite good numbers, but on the other hand the number of iPhone and iPad users has doubled compared to when Angry Birds Space was released,” Kuittinen remarked.
Earnings performance still a riddle
Kuittinen pointed out that the new game hasn’t even broken into the top ten highest-earning games. Three years ago Angry Birds Space soared into the top ten in short order.
He explained however that this was partly a result of the new game’s earnings model – it features in-app purchases which have put off many fans – as well as the rapid revenue growth of games already in the top ten. Rovio has struggled to match the financial success of games produced by other developers, such as compatriot Supercell, which turns out the engrossing strategy title Clash of Clans.
“It’s possible to play for free in the early stages of the game and obstacles come much later. In that sense you have to wait to see how the earnings will develop,” Kuittinen noted.
Gamers can download Angry Birds 2 for free, but players must pay for additional features. Launched back in 2009, the first blockbuster Angry Birds game could be downloaded against a one-time cost.
Since the bumper success of the first game, Rovio has launched 12 other games in the world-famous franchise. Much of the financial success of the series has however come from a raft of bird- and pig-branded merchandise, including toys, board games, beverages and activity parks.