Nearly 300 Million downloads, 1 Billion Dollars, 200 Million minutes of daily game play, and even a successful merchandising line worthy of a George Lucas venture… When the App Store was first launched I don’t think anyone imagined an iPhone app could or would achieve this level of financial and cultural success (and global wasted productivity!). And yet Angry Birds from Rovio has done just that.
How? What did Rovio do right in order to get so many downloads? How did they attract so many paying customers? How did they manage to keep people engaged in playing the game day in and day out? And why is Angry Birds such a talked about success?
The people at AYTM took a crack at answering some of these questions. They have done some extensive research by surveying Angry Birds users as well as Psychology professionals in order to create an entertaining infographic, yet packed with priceless insight, stats and data for those of you who have every intention of developing a successful iPhone app.
To achieve the level of success Angry Birds did (or at least part of it!), here are some things you can implement in your own app or game:
- Be innovative: When the original Angry Birds came out it was flat out innovative. From those surveyed, 76% downloaded the free version of Angry Birds. That’s just massive penetration: Almost 8 in 10 people surveyed downloaded the free version!
- Drive sales by using a freemium model: Free apps in the app store have proven to generate a ton more downloads than paid apps. The key is to create a game or app compelling enough to convert free users into paid users. In the case of Angry Birds, almost 5 out of 10 people surveyed had downloaded the paid version. When compared to the number of people who got the free version of the original Angry Birds game, about 60% of them ended up converting into paid users.
- Make your users happy: Happy users offer the potential of repeat business. Nearly a third of those surveyed also downloaded the free versions of the other two Angry Birds games in the series, and about half of those got the paid versions as well.
- Make it casual: Casual games simply “fit” into people’s busy schedule.They estimate that gamers play Angry Birds 200 million minutes PER DAY! From personal insight I dare to guess that the fact that you can play Angry Birds for 1 minute, or 3 hours (and still have fun) is a key factor.
- Branch out beyond the iPhone and App Store: Originally launched on the iPhone only, eventually Angry birds became available pretty much on any device with a screen, running any Operating System. iOS devices are by far Angry Bird’s most dominating platform, but the Android and PC versions are important revenue streams as well.
- Take your users on an emotional roller coaster: from “very anxious” to “very relaxed”, from irritable, to angry, to joyful. The bottom line is that playing Angry Birds is an emotional experience for people. From the frustration of getting stuck at a level, to the utter elation that you feel from completing one of their many tough puzzles, this emotional connection with the user is one of the reasons people talk so much about the game. Boring, it is not (cue bad Yoda impression here).
- Like any addiction, it’s all chemicals in the brain: 82% of those surveyed reported feeling addicted to the game in some degree. And the Psychologists consulted by AYTM for the infographic offer some explanation as to why. The golden-nugget here for me are the reasons why they feel this addiction, because most, if not all of the reasons are related to UX Design (User Experience Design).
- Get the User Experience right! The Angry Birds experience is:
- Balanced: easy enough to pick up quickly, yet challenging enough to keep you hooked.
- Realistic: objects in the game behave in a physically realistic way. They fly, bounce, flip, tumble and fall they way they should.
- Entertaining: Clever and funny looking creatures with great sounds and animations.
But can an app be just too good? Apparently some people thought so. About 12% of those surveyed reported deleting the game to prevent playing it anymore! You know you’re app is good when it causes lost productivity at a “facebook scale”.
On to you…
What stands out for you from the infographic below? What ideas does it give you to improve your own apps?
Original infographic source: AYTM.com