I began as a devout player on the original Angry Birds years ago. It was immense fun. I moved on the the later incarnations and played them all. The day AB2 was released I started playing it as well. It was insane fun that I could enjoy for hours at a time. I even paid for a few of the update packs and enjoyed those too. I purchased one of Rovio’s ‘advantage packs’, the one that would give more treasure chests so I could build up my bird/spell backup.
A few years ago I noticed the fun starting to wane in favour of in-game purchases. I also noticed the game being tweaked in small, innocuous ways. The treasure chest pack I bought and paid for was secretly narfed with no warning whatsoever, even though I paid for it.
Soon, I started noticing birds doing less damage, structures not collapsing when they did before, screens changing to add more to knock down, game dynamics changing… the list goes on. At one point watching ads for bonuses was an option. Now they are shoved in the player’s face and happen pretty much on every screen transition. (I happen to know that in the world of paid marketing, every time a user watches an ad Rovio gets a $$.00 kickback (Adchoices agreement) ). This means Rovio gets paid by using your bandwidth, and in exchange they give you an intangible token, and pocket real money. Apparently the other Rovio games were following suit.
So one day I decided to take a break from playing. I went almost 9 months without touching the game. The day I picked it back up I noticed the player experience had been reduced significantly. I was spending 20 minutes watching ads and 10 minutes of actual gameplay. More places to watch ads were present. Things that were free before were costing gems now. The perpetual treadmill of bird/slingshot increment levels had moved ahead from x10 to x100+. There was no sign of any control, just an endless tunnel of non-achievement. Ads were locking up my game/phone and I was being forced to spend gems and start over.
I took another hiatus for about 6 months. Got totally bored waiting for a flight one day and played it again. Everything I listed above was now x10. More ads, more ways to spend gems, more dynamics being changed to corner the player into spending said gems. It’s clear that the greed of profit had turned Rovio into a pack of drooling hyenas.
Last week I traveled abroad, and somehow my phone number was hacked and being spoofed. As a measure of security, I installed a couple of tools on my phone to monitor data access requests and unauthorized operation. To my shock, when I booted up AB2, a request popup came that the game wanted access to:
– my personal contacts
– my FB usage
– my network
– my AppleID (including other games)
– my internet history
Enough is enough. I sent an email to Rovio and their response was simply, “Read our EULA.” So, I’m pretty sure when I agreed to play the game way back when, a lot of these access necessities weren’t in the EULA. Typical sneaky corporate moves to add them in after the fact.
So this weekend, I decided enough was enough. I deleted all my Rovio games and am moving on. In as fun as the game was to begin with, the whole purpose has changed. The game just simply isn’t worth it anymore. Screw Rovio, and screw anything they are going to get their grubby little mitts on.
Good luck flingers, and all the best in chasing down those pigs. I’ve had enough of greedy pigs for awhile.
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