An Open Letter: Angry Birds and BlackBerry

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Dear Rovio,

Before I get started, I would like to congratulate you on your continued success with the Angry Birds franchise. You have taken a very simple concept for a game and turned it into the most successful mobile game franchise in history. This is no easy task and I want to commend you on it. With that being said, I’d like to discuss with you your diligent support of the BlackBerry platform.

I love Angry Birds. There’s no game I would rather play on my Z10 device, and I have over a dozen downloaded. I always find myself going back to Angry Birds Star Wars, Space, and Seasons. I also have a PlayBook that has every version of the game available downloaded onto it. Almost had three stars on every level of every game, but a son of a friend accidentally deleted them off the tablet and I had to start over. Even then, I felt a little bit of happiness because I could replay levels. You simply can’t find a better game for mobile devices.

I won’t blame you for taking a while to get all the games transferred over to the BlackBerry platform. It’s no secret that ours is not a platform with a wide app selection. Yes, 100,000 available apps at launch is not exactly a “small” amount of apps, but of course it’s BlackBerry, and BlackBerry has no apps.

I was at the huge BlackBerry 10 launch event that took place in January in New York. Front row. Center. I was so close to Thor I could see the lint on his tie. Alicia Keys looked stunning. It was a great event that really pumped up the BlackBerry community.  I had my own personal celebration in my head when I saw that Angry Birds Star Wars was set to be released from the get go. In fact, I purchased the game that night, only to discover it was free to download the next day.

Another celebration was had in my head when Angry Birds and Angry Birds Seasons was finally released last week for our platform. Of course I downloaded them. Well I downloaded Seasons. I’ll get the original iteration after I’ve mastered Seasons. Moderation is key when it comes to your addictive bird launching games.

My one question that I must ask you is, what took so long? Why wait over eight months after the platform is released before sending more of your games over? Why not release the full catalog from the get go? Ok I realize that was more than one question, but you get the idea.

I truly don’t understand. Yes, I’m not ignorant to the woes of BlackBerry; I’ve been blogging about the company for nearly five years. I’m aware that ours is not the most popular platform. There’s a stigma that we don’t have a wide app selection, as I’ve addressed already in this letter, and has been addressed countless time all over the Internets. However, I don’t understand how any company who sells any item would not want to offer that product to a user base that consists of tens of millions of users. Even at .99cents a pop, you’re looking at a veritable treasure trove of revenue.

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I don’t claim to be the techiest techster out there, so maybe I’m missing something. In fact, I’m positive I am. Maybe getting the app to be compatible is harder than converting the .apk to a .bar. Maybe you guys (and Netflix, Instagram, Vine, etc.) don’t see porting your apps to be profitable. Maybe it’s the Illuminati. Who knows?

I suppose the reasons themselves are inconsequential. What matters is that BlackBerry is no longer what it was. We have a great mobile platform with a user experience that is beyond intuitive. I’m certain your team has used either the Z10, Q10, or Q5 at some point. Maybe you don’t like it, and I’m ok with that. However, you have to admit that we’ve grown leaps and bounds from where we were this point last year. BlackBerry 10 is a great platform that is capable of handling the apps that everyone wants so much.

Allow me to close off this letter with one more point. My frustration is not with your Birds so much as it is what they represent. Every ill-tempered aviary stands for a different app that for some reason has not decided to let BlackBerry users experience what they’ve got to offer. I believe Rovio is indicative of the app universe and its relationship with BlackBerry as a whole. Yes, you’ve dabbled with the platform some and released a few title here and there, and we’re grateful for that. However, you’re not ready to make the full commitment and dive in the deep in with BlackBerry 10. This is evident in the fact that your newest game will not be available for BB10 when it launches on pretty much every other mobile platform.

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You may have read my tweets where I bombarded you with questions concerning when Angry Birds Star Wars II would find it’s way to BlackBerry 10. Thank you for your professional responses. I fully understand there is no news to announce concerning my questions. I truly hope the game will end up in my hands soon, because those gameplay videos you’ve been posting on Tumblr are to die for.

Make the plunge, Rovio. Jump in and support the BlackBerry 10 brand. You have some great products and a large group of millions who would willingly throw their money at you for the opportunity to throw some birds at some pigs.

I remain your fan and supporter,

 

Chris Esparza
N4BB.com
Contributing Editor

 




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