A Bing button in Angry Birds? Say it ain't so.
This is just bad design for the casual gamer. Rovio put such care into the details of this simple game and it's a shame to see parts of it fall apart because of misplaced advertising. They need to put the same care into the moneymaking decisions that touch the UI and keep true to themselves. Their success has been putting customers at the center of each decision!
At 99 cents a download, is it reasonable to expect much from a little mobile app? Angry Birds has stayed on top of the app store charts for an impressive run based on simple, addictive game play. They continually update the game with new levels at no cost. All ages can enjoy the game— my three year old has just as much fun as I do with the game. It's a hit.
Greed gets in the way
With all this success come challenges. How do you continue to grow revenues? In the latest Angry Birds Seasons we see the "monetization" team get their hands on the core product. Here is where things start to unravel.
While potentially innocent, interface elements that incorporate branded actions can build distrust with people. Microsoft has been extremely aggressive advertising Bing. The new Bing button takes you to a set of videos with tips. It's clear that Rovio knows this is confusing because they've introduced a wooden sign interface element to help users understand the reason for the button. I'm sure the Rovio team makes money every time that button is clicked.
Why is this bad?
Angry Bird's product success was built on an extremely simple, addictive game play. Jonathan, our resident gamer, suggested that Angry Birds is the cheapest per minute game experience he's ever played. And it's a formula that works for all ages— even my youngest kids play it. Tampering with this easy to use interface by introducing advertising elements builds distrust with fans. Why not just charge more?
Has Rovio gone too far to make money?
Leading the charge at ZURB since 1998