Windows Phone left on launchpad by Angry Birds in spaaace
Microsoft lacks the gravity to attract a port
Updated Rovio has shunned Windows Phone for the latest outing of the super-soaraway Angry Birds franchise, saying that it can't support every platform and has no plans to support that one.
Angry Birds in Space is out for iOS (£1.99), Mac (£2.99), PC (£4.97) and Android (free but plastered with ads), but notably absent is a Windows Phone port. Worse than that, the developer told Bloomberg that it has no schedule to produce a version for Microsoft's mobile OS.
That's despite the original Angry Birds still topping the Windows Phone store (at £2.29 but lacking the additional levels available on the other versions), but porting Angry Birds in Space is apparently more effort than it's worth.
"It’s a big undertaking to support it, and you have to completely rewrite the application," Rovio's chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka told Bloomberg, adding that the company has no plans or schedule to do that.
It's true that targeting Angry Birds in Space at another platform would require some effort - the game uses a modified physics engine to allow different bodies to exert gravity in different directions, but that doesn't explain why Angry Birds Seasons, or even the additional levels of Angry Birds, aren't available for Windows Phone.
Porting those levels would be a lot less work, and the fact that Rovio hasn't bothered is indicative of how few sales it is getting on the Windows Phone platform, underlined by the decision not to port Angry Birds in Space.
Angry Birds was Rovio's 52nd attempt to catch the mobile gestalt, and having conquered it with pig-squashing avians Rovio has been busy squeezing the brand for all its worth before fashion moves on. The company is apparently planning around four more versions before the end of 2012, depending on how far it can push the concept.
Rovio enlisted NASA to promote Angry Birds in Space on the basis that flinging birds through varying gravity fields is somehow educational, even if those gravity fields have cliff edges which would make Einstein blush. ®
Updated to Add
Rovio has now apparently changed its mind.
Re: Games? Pah!
Latest news on the WP7 users convention, it's now being held in the phone box on the corner of shit street in Lower Peover
The core is written in C++. That's well known because it uses the open source Box2D framework, slightly controversially without giving any credit (short version: the licence doesn't require it; people think they should anyway as a courtesy).
Windows Phone 7 uses the Microsoft-invented C# and shuns any language not invented by Microsoft. For security reasons, we're told. All the other major and minor platforms can be targeted with C++ (including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Bada...) so there's a significant extra cost in supporting them for a multi-platform title.
Quite probably the original port was subsidised and Rovio thought it worth the punt. As El Reg imply, they're probably otherwise aware that the time they have to milk the franchise is likely to be short and that decisions need to focus on the facts right now.
Yet ... we keep getting told how great its app store is
Such contradictory messages. Microsoft: "It's great". Buying public: "Microsoft have a phone out?"
Not surprising at all
I forsaw this as soon as I read that Microsoft insisted all apps be written in C#. Every other platform has a common denominator of C/C++. You can write your main code in C/C++, and then all you have to do is layer the platform specific stuff on top. Even Android, with it's focus on Java, has an NDK that lets you integrate C/C++.
But not Microsoft. They were too good for the plebs and their common languages. And, oh look, everyone is giving them the finger.
Windows 8 *might* help stem the tide, except for one teeny detail. It's not out yet, and won't be until fall (assuming nothing goes wrong). All these companies are just being smart by not wasting their limited resources on a clearly doomed platform. Especially one that insists you throw all your existing dev work out the window and do everything from scratch.
iOS, Android, Playbook OS, PC, Mac, Chrome, Facebook, but not WP7 (completely).
Says a whole lot about the success of the platform, to be honest.