On Sunday, reports began slinging around the blogosphere that Angry Birds – the top-selling puzzle game developed by Rovio – would be among the titles offered at the launch of the new Windows 7 phone. But not long after one blogger posted what appeared to be evidence of a Windows version of Angry Birds, reps at Rovio issued a quick correction via Twitter.
"We have NOT committed to doing a Windows Phone 7 version," Rovio wrote. "Microsoft put the Angry Birds icon on their site without our permission." In a subsequent post, a rep added that the company "could do a WP7 version of Angry Birds," but said that was "not the issue. We have not agreed to do that (yet). Will support all relevant platforms."
Angry Birds, which is currently available in Apple iOS 4, Symbian, and Android formats, remains one of the most popular paid apps in the world. (As the Monitor recently reported, the game is extremely popular even in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, countries not exactly known for their vibrant gaming cultures.) The premise of Angry Birds is simple: The player flings pint-sized, cartoonish birds – via slingshot – at makeshift castles inhabited by green pigs.
"In Angry Birds, as so often in life, the material world has conspired to favor the jerks, endowing them with what look like breastworks, berms and parapets, as if they were the beneficiaries of some grim foreign-aid package," the incomparable Times columnist Virginia Heffernan wrote in a recent examination of Angry Birds. "Those gross, smug, green pigs stole my flock’s babies, and they’re sitting pretty in stone fortifications that they didn’t even build themselves."
"And the looks on their fat faces? Perfectly, perfectly self-satisfied," Heffernan added.
But don't take her word for it. Angry Birds is also loved by a range of celebrities, including Jon Hamm, who plays Don Draper on AMC's Mad Men. Last month, Hamm was on Craig Ferguson to promote a couple of new movies. Instead, Hamm and Ferguson talked about Angry Birds. (See video.)
"It makes perfect sense," Hamm explained to Ferguson. "Some evil pigs have stolen some bird eggs. And of course, what way would you try to get the eggs back but by launching yourself at the castle the pigs have constructed?" Hamm and Ferguson then proceeded to act out a scene from Angry Birds using plush toys.