We know that 2012 is looked back upon by many Angry Birds fans as a perfect year in the history of Angry Birds. Three years after the launch of the original Angry Birds game, the franchise was flying high, with numerous spinoffs all incorporating the classic slingshot gameplay that propelled the original to global fame. Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Friends, Angry Birds Space, and Angry Birds Star Wars were topping charts, occupying a unique place in popular culture.
Fast forward to the present day, and mobile gaming has changed considerably, largely fueled by a never ending stream of content – new levels, new features, limited-time events.
Yet the original Angry Birds slingshot games still hold a special place in the hearts of many of you, who grew up with the memorable characters and “easy to play, difficult to master” slingshot gameplay. While many have migrated to modern Angry Birds titles like Angry Birds 2 or Angry Birds Friends to scratch that bird flinging itch, for some, the originals are sorely missed. Many of you super fans took to social media and expressed your dismay when the original games became unavailable in app stores. You demanded their return, you wanted us to #BringBack2012.
Back in the summer we wrote to you all to let you know that we heard you, and we’re working on it. We’ve been busy here behind the scenes, figuring out exactly how to get this done.
So today, we are announcing that we are bringing back the first Angry Birds game, often referred to as “Angry Birds Classic”. We want to bring you back to, well, 2012 – so we’re aiming to include as much of the characters, levels and gameplay as it was back then. It will have the great look and feel of the original game that took the world by storm.
Development has already begun on Angry Birds, but bringing it back isn’t just a matter of flipping a switch. The game’s executive producer Sami Ronkainen explains, “part of the reason it has taken us so long to bring back classic Angry Birds is because it means we have to build the game from the ground up. We built Angry Birds on our own game engine, and as time went on, and new devices and OS versions were released, this engine became impossible to maintain and update on current hardware and software.”
Now the team is ready to take on the challenge, recreating Angry Birds in Unity using the 2012 version as a reference. Sami again: “developing Angry Birds for Unity means that we will be able to release the game on various platforms more easily, and will also make development itself easier. As we were reviewing the old builds, we are also able to make improvements as we go, for example making text localizable so the game can be presented in more languages. We have also made small improvements to gameplay like giving players an easier way to put birds back in the slingshot and making it possible to zoom without accidentally flinging a bird. These were issues with the original that always bothered me. We are also incorporating cloud saving so players can save their progress and continue the game where they left off on another device. This can really be considered as Angry Birds returning to its roots.”
In addition to these improvements, the team is also removing distractions from gameplay. As the re-release of Angry Birds will be a premium title, there will be no intrusive ads.
You’re probably now thinking “when is it coming out?”. Well our aim is get this in your hands in the first quarter of next year, an early 2022 release. It has taken us a while, but we’re confident we’ll deliver a classic Angry Birds experience that brings you back to the heady days of 2012.
We’ll now be sharing regular updates on the development of the game, so follow Rovio social accounts and this blog to find out more. Next month we’ll also host a Q&A on Twitter with Angry Birds executive producer Sami Ronkainen and Angry Birds brand director Steve Porter! Follow @Rovio on Twitter for updates, and if you have questions and comments, send them our way using the hashtag #BringBack2012.