Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, December 13, 2010

Angry Birds Are Angry About Android Payments

Rovio, developers of the smash hit Angry Birds, are attempting to fix what they see as one of the big problems with Android applications: Android payments. Rovio is producing the Bad Piggy Bank in combination with Finnish network operator Elisa, in order to process in-app payments for (naturally) more Angry Birds material. Angry Birds is free on Android because getting Android users to pay for apps is so difficult. This new payment plan, which Rovio hopes will be adopted by other developers, allows charges to be put on your monthly phone bill.

The idea of mobile phone billing is nothing new; many companies in Europe and Asia are used to getting money from customers by billing their mobile accounts. For many countries, that's how you pay for things online, since credit cards are not widely used in their culture. Rovio's trying to make this easy for game developers on Android, since Google has failed to do so. Especially in the fast-growing realm of in-app payments.

We'll have to wait and see if other developers jump on this. Or maybe Google will get its act together and start streamlining its payment process and promoting it, or buy another payment processor and build on that. This is the Achilles Heel of the Android platform. Getting more phone activations than Apple is interesting, but it's not making up for the fact that developers are making seven times as much money from the iOS platform as they are from Android.

Developers see the Android numbers and smell profit potential, but the road is not easy. Rovio's hoping their new payment processing will pave the way to profits for developers. And a nice piece of change for them, too.

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