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Rovio Pulls Angry Birds Classic From Android Because It’s More Popular Than Free-To-Play Version

Feature image for our Angry Birds delisting news. It shows the red bird from the game with an alarmed expression.

The classic game Angry Birds is leaving Google Play this Thursday, after a completely unexpected announcement from Rovio Entertainment. The developer released a statement citing ‘impact on our wider games portfolio’ as the reason behind the choice.

In addition, the App Store version will be getting a rebranding as Red’s First Flight, removing reference to Angry Birds in the title.

Still Around, But Not For Long

The game, currently listed as Rovio Classics: Angry Birds on Google Play, is a rebuilt version of the very first iteration of the game, which is no longer available to download. It is currently still available via Google Play for $0.99/£0.99, though Rovio plans to delist it on Thursday the 23rd of February.

If you’ve purchased it in the past, don’t worry, you can still play your copy, but newbies to the franchise will have to pick from the freemium titles left in the store.

This does raise the question: why is Angry Birds getting pulled? Rovio has been fairly vague on the subject, but many suspect a slightly sinister motive.

A Push Toward Freemium?

An article from The Verge posed the theory that the developer may be deliberately removing its one, very reasonably priced, premium game in order to push users into microtransaction-based titles that now make up the bulk of its portfolio.

If it’s true, it’s rather depressing news for gamers who simply want to buy games and play the content. The freemium model certainly has its place in the industry, but premium-centric players aren’t likely to take kindly to feeling forced into them.

Angry Birds is one of the old classics of mobile gaming. The physics-based casual game released all the way back in 2009 and the collective series has clocked over three billion downloads in its history. There are numerous games, movies, and merchandise that sprang from the IP in the interim years.

Interested in some other games that are out now? Check out out best new Android games this week feature.

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