(Update: Rovio CEO denies it) A notable, and somewhat surprising, omission from yesterday’s global launch of Angry Birds Space across multiple platforms was a Windows Phone 7 version. In what may amount to a significant blow to the prestige and perceived value of the Windows Phone 7 platform, Angry Birds Space developer Rovio told Bloomberg that it has no plans at all for a WP7 version. This is despite its original version of Angry Birds remaining one of the top sellers on the WP7 Marketplace.
The news is perhaps worse for highest profile hardware backer of the Windows Phone 7 platform, Nokia. In a bitter twist for the struggling Finnish phone giant, software developer Rovio is also Finnish and its headquarters is even based in the same Espoo, Finland, office park as Nokia's headquarters. Yet, Rovio’s chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbecka said that to develop a version for the Windows Phone platform as well as Apple’s iOS and Android would be too expensive and also carries with it technical complexities.
‘If you look at activations, Apple’s iOS and Android are clearly bigger than any other platform,’ Vesterbacka 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,’ he added.
‘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,’ Vesterbacka said of Rovio’s current stance.
Rovio currently employs around 300 employees and has also launched a successful plush toy business with sales of over 25 million units, as well as a new book division selling both cookbooks and comics. But the incredible success of its gaming franchise has produced some Apple-like sales figures.
‘Angry Birds may reach a billion cumulative downloads in the next few months, boosted by the introduction of Space, and 2 billion by the end of the year,’ he predicted. However, it would seem that the Windows Phone 7 platform will not play any great part in reaching these remarkable milestones.
When asked about the development, a Nokia spokesman offered no comment.
Update: Company CEO Mikael Hed denied that Rovio wasn't developing for Windows Phone. No set date was in mind, which would still put it past the Android and iOS releases. "We are working towards getting Angry Birds Space to WP7," he explained to Reuters/em>.