Rovio announced this week that it will remove the “Classic” version of Angry Birds from the Google Play Store, effectively cutting off Android players.

Starting tomorrow, February 23, “Rovio Classics: Angry Birds” will be delisted from the Google Play Store. This means that the “Classic” version of Angry Birds will no longer be available for purchase on Android, though it will remain accessible to those who have already purchased the game for $0.99.

Angry Birds “Classic” was a re-release of the original version of Angry Birds, which was one of the first hit games on mobile devices. The original version of the game was delisted long ago as Rovio turned its attention to free-to-play spinoffs and sequels. As of February 22, Angry Birds “Classic” is the only paid app Rovio distributes on the Play Store.

Why is this classic version of the game shutting down?

In a statement shared on Twitter, Rovio says that it has “reviewed the business case” for this game in particular and decided to pull it from distribution due to the “impact on our wider games portfolio.”

While it’s not said explicitly, the reasoning here is quite clear. Angry Birds “Classic” is a one-time purchase on Android for an ad-free game that also lacks microtransactions. Rovio’s other games, such as Angry Birds 2, rely on these microtransactions and ads to turn a profit, and it’s quite clear that Rovio sees this one-time purchase version of the game as a threat to those versions.

Angry Birds “Classic” was released on March 31, 2022, meaning it was available for less than a year.

The real kicker to this situation is that, while Angry Birds “Classic” is being removed from Android entirely, it will still be available on iOS under the new name “Red’s First Flight.” Rovio also changed the name of the game on the Play Store to “Rovio Classics: AB” in what seems like a pretty clear attempt to bury the title.

Rovio’s full statement on the removal follows:

We have reviewed the business case of Rovio Classics: Angry Birds, and due to the game’s impact on our wider games portfolio, we have decided that Rovio Classics: Angry Birds will be unlisted from the Google Play Store on Thursday, February 23. Additionally, the game will be renamed to Red’s First Flight in the App Store pending further review. Rovio Classics: Angry Birds will remain playable on devices on which the game has been downloaded, even after it has been unlisted.

We understand that this is sad news for many fans, as well as the team that has worked hard to make Rovio Classics: Angry Birds a reality. We are extremely grateful to the Angry Birds fans who have shown their love of the brand and this game from the beginning. We hope those fans can continue to bring that passion to our live Angry Birds slingshot games such as Angry Birds 2, Angry Birds Friends, and Angry Birds Journey, where our goal every day is to craft the best possible experience for players.

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Ben Schoon

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