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Angry Birds: New payment system, 50 million users

Rovio discusses the future of the game, which so far is is an unbridled success, hitting 50 downloads and 200 million daily play minutes. It also has a new payment system.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Angry Birds creator Rovio is ruffling its feathers and spreading its wings. At an event today touting the game's popularity, the company discussed an in-app payment system it will soon open up to all developers.


Dubbed Bad Piggy Bank, the service is designed to be a "one-touch payment" option for consumers who want to buy goods in-game. Rovio was quick to point out that no registration or credit card is required at the time of purchase. Instead, users will be billed on their monthly phone bill.

Rovio said its decision to launch Bad Piggy Bank is rooted in its desire to be a company that is "all about choice." It also said the functionality should appeal to developers who want to generate more cash from their respective programs.

It will take some time to get Bad Piggy Bank off the ground. Not only does Rovio need developer support, but the company must also ink deals with carriers to ensure that they can bill a user's mobile plan.

Rovio said it hopes to launch Bad Piggy Bank next year, but it wouldn't provide many details on the service, other than to say it will be available only to Android developers initially. Company spokesman Peter Vesterbacka also said the revenue-sharing agreement Rovio plans to offer will be "much, much better for developers than current app store models."

Angry Birds has been downloaded 50 million times across all platforms on which it's available, Rovio also revealed. Vesterbacka said he expects Angry Birds to have been downloaded 100 million downloads times by next summer. The game, he said, is currently being played a cumulative 200 million minutes per day around the world.

Going forward, Rovio reaffirmed that Angry Birds will be coming to PCs, Macs, and "every other console" next year. The company said the new versions will boast the same gameplay but offer "beautiful HD." Those hoping for something new, however, won't find it on the new platforms, as those versions are set to feature all of the same levels gamers have played on their smartphones. Updates for the game, however, are expected "every four weeks or so," with new levels added at no additional cost.

Rovio said the online and Facebook versions of Angry Birds will also be launching next year.