Why Is 'Angry Birds' Alienating Its Fans?

Maressa Brown

angry birdsLike many games and gadgets of yesteryear -- think Tamagotchi or "Guitar Hero" -- "Angry Birds" could be a passing fad. But lately, I had started to feel like it just might have some major staying power. That's because the game's creator, Rovio, keeps trying to up the ante with the game, offering players something new and exciting every so often. Different versions, more levels, more advanced levels, etc.  

But given the latest news, I'm not so sure if Rovio's going to be able to keep winning players over. The latest incarnation of the game, "Angry Birds HD," is actually making a lot of players, uh, for lack of a better word -- ANGRY! With good reason!

The new version of the game, meant for iPads, has 15 new levels! It unlocks ANOTHER golden egg! But the thing people mostly taking issue with: When the game is paused or a level is restarted, the user must sit through a brief animated advertisement before resuming play. There is no way to skip the ad, which peddles official Angry Birds merchandise.

Now, did I mention this is a PAID app?? Right. Yes, it is. And it would be one thing if it wasn't, because we're used to that. Free apps equal ads. Paid apps equal ad-free. You pay for ad-free "Words With Friends" so you can just make your move without annoying pop-ups; you pay for Pandora One so you don't have to listen to ads on Weezer Radio.

But apparently, Angry Birds is above that. People should want to play it so badly that they'll put up with animated ads in between game-play ... in a paid app. Hey, that's what it seems like Rovio is assuming!

And they've clearly assumed wrong. Because the backlash has already begun. Check out this iTunes user review of the game, featured on 9to5mac.com:

[The update] really gives you the feeling that someone lowered the quality control bar and chose to add a poorly placed ... and tacky-looking ... advertisement on the panel/menu screen to push Angry Birds gear.

I say this is an illustration of greed to the max. Can't Rovio just be happy with the INSANE levels of success they've achieved? No, they have to take advantage of their followers' loyalty by bombarding them with nasty ads. It's enough to make you want to make crazy cackling noises while sling-shooting yourself at the developers! Rovio better get it together and make haste with those ads, or they're really going to alienate their best, "Angry" fans.

Do ads in paid apps bother you?

Image via bfishadow/Flickr

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