Rovio may bring back the original Angry Birds under a different name

The studio could reverse the recent removal if it can figure out how to stop declining sales

Angry Birds holds a special place in smartphone culture as one of the first smartphone games to explode in popularity. Thus, people were understandably upset when Rovio announced it would remove the original game from the Play Store last February. However, this may not be the end for the venerable bird-slinger.

Retitled to Rovio Classics: Angry Birds in March 2022, the game was delisted from the Play Store and renamed Red’s First Flight on the App Store. But according to a statement made by a senior Rovio executive to Axios, it may return to the Play Store under the name Red’s First Flight.

According to the original statement, Rovio Classics: Angry Birds was removed because of its negative impact on Rovio’s games portfolio. Unlike its sequels, Rovio Classics: Angry Birds was a paid download with no in-app purchases. Rovio has posited that users often decided they didn’t want to spend the money on this title (a paid game that often showed first in search results) but would also avoid downloading Rovio’s other free-to-play Angry Birds games, thus harming the company’s bottom line.

If Rovio finds a workaround to the current naming issue supposedly dissuading fans from plunging into Rovio’s F2P games, we could see the classic game return to the Play Store. However, the implication that nobody wants to play Rovio’s free-to-play games is an ominous indication for the company’s future. It could focus on releasing premium games that don’t rely on gambling mechanics and microtransactions, but that likely won’t happen anytime soon (or ever).

If you owned Rovio Classics: Angry Birds before its delisting, you can still download and play. However, App Store users can still download it, where it sits at #1 in the Puzzle category. The game is actually on the Play Store under the name Red’s First Flight, but it doesn’t appear in search and is unavailable for some regions. It seems that Rovio might already be testing a new name, but this approach is certainly confusing.

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