Rovio’s latest offering Angry Birds Go!, an Angry Birds meets Mario Kart, is off to a good start in the Apple App Store. Angry Birds Go! is the Espoo, Finland-based game company’s first major free-to-play Angry Birds title. Since free-to-play is uncharted waters for Rovio, we decided to look into our data estimates from Distimo AppIQ to see what jump-started the game’s stellar launch in the Apple App Store.
Rovio launched Angry Birds Go! in the app stores (Apple App Store, Google Play, BlackBerry World, Windows Phone Store) globally on December 12, but before then, Rovio soft launched the kart racer among others in Australia, which was the first trend we spotted. Now it’s not uncommon at all for developers to soft launch mobile apps in English-speaking countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Developers do so because the U.S. is an important market, so developers work out the kinks — like server load balancing and monetization — in the smaller English-speaking countries.
Below you’ll see estimated download data for Angry Birds Go! in Australia compared to downloads in the U.S. Clearly, downloads for Angry Birds Go! ramped up during the soft launch period in Australia in early December. When the app was launched globally on December 12, downloads increased three-fold on that day in the U.S., and by more than four times on December 13.