Sorry Microsoft, No Angry Birds for You
Nokia (NYSE:NOK) was dealt a body blow in its race to accelerate the market adoption of its new line of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows phones by Rovio Entertainment Oy, the maker of the blockbuster Angry Birds game, which has decided not to offer its newest game, Angry Bids Space, on the Windows phone platform.
Rovio commenced selling the new game for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones and handsets running Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android software on Thursday. Citing costs not commensurate with the volume of Windows handset sales, Peter Vesterbacka, chief marketing officer of Rovio said, “We’re the No. 1 app in the Windows Phone app store, but it’s a big undertaking to support it, and you have to completely rewrite the application.”
“If you look at activations, Apple’s iOS and Android are clearly bigger than any other platform,” he said. “We want to be on all screens, but we have to consider the cost of supplying the smaller platforms. With Windows Phone it’s a lot of work to technically support it,” Vesterbacka said.
This development may impact Nokia negatively in two ways — gamers may think twice before buying the Windows handset, and developers may be turned off from the platform, concluding that it has little potential for growth in a self-fulfilling prophesy.
“There is a chicken and egg situation here, where no apps means no users and no users means no apps,” Nomura analyst Windsor said. “Nokia has tried in the past to get past this by paying developers directly to write applications but it has largely failed to bring any life back to the platform.”
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