The Angry Birds franchise has thus far been on the lighter side of the free-to-play model - the original game launched free and ad-supported on Android, and later versions added small charges for HD versions and a few in-app bonuses like the Mighty Eagle. But it looks like Rovio is pulling out all the stops when it comes to the upcoming kart racer, Angry Birds Go. Pocket Gamer reports that gamers in New Zealand (where the game is getting an early launch on iOS) are finding it positively stuffed with in-app purchases.

angry-birds-go-angry-birds-go angry-birds-go-angry-birds-go6

The game apparently includes just about every kind of IAP scheme you can think of. It's got the dual-currency system for upgrades and kart purchases: coins and gems, the latter of which you can buy with real money. It's got a time-based wait system, most frustratingly demonstrated with EA's Real Racing 3: your bird gets tired after five races, after which you'll have to either tag in another bird, pay Gems to "re-energize" it, or wait until it's ready to go again. And if that wasn't enough, Angry Birds Go uses the Hasbro Telepod system for zapping in unlockable characters and bonuses with toys from your local retailer, in the same vein as Skylanders and Disney Infinity. This was previously seen in Angry Birds Star Wars II.

It might seem obvious from the fact that Rovio has turned Angry Birds into a world-striding colossus of a mobile franchise, but they really don't seem to care any more. Angry Birds Go shows all the symptoms of a game and a developer that are interested in wringing as much real cash out of gamers as possible. The in-app purchases for Gems have the usual markups, and gamers can purchase upgraded karts directly - the most expensive and presumably fastest is a full £69.99 or $99.99. This kind of extravagance isn't unusual from developers who wouldn't know restraint if it smacked them with a two-by-four, but it's disheartening to see it from a developer that was previously so reasonable.

angry-birds-go-angry-birds-go4 angry-birds-go-angry-birds-go3

It's a shame, too: Rovio delivers rock-solid games with reliably balanced mechanics, and Angry Birds Go is their most ambitious technical project to date. If anyone can get the casual crowd into a racing game, it's them. But I predict that Rovio will have a lot of frustrated fans on their hands after the first few racing rounds, much like EA did with Real Racing 3. And if they continue down this path, we'll be looking at new Rovio releases with the same tired cynicism as Glu and Gamevil.

Angry Birds Go is set to hit mobile devices worldwide on December 11th.

Source: Pocket Gamer

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • FuckAngryBirds

    Lmao, Fuck Angry Birds.

    • almirapft170

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      • ShutTheFuckUp

        Shut the Fuck Up.

        • Kcls

          Why do they even type it like that? Do they think it's going to get more clicks if it obviously looks like spam?

          • crossover_1

            I assume there's a smaller chance of it being automatically caught by a filter.

          • Salaried tips

            Nah they are trying to fool google analytics bots

    • MyLeftNut

      It is the only game I have where ads still appear in the paid versions. I don't even play them anymore but I have long since revoked their internet access permission.

  • Samuel Hart

    I already look forward to Rovio releases with the same view of the next COD. "Oh look, another one. How much are they going to try and sting people for now?"

    • Shirley Juan

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      • Thatguyfromvienna

        Yeah, Stella is using that cheap laptop as a cushion when she's on her knees before her customers.

        God, I hate spam!

  • Alan Shearer

    Gamekiller to the rescue :)

  • http://www.emuparadise.me/roms-isos-games.php rarely online

    Can't wait for hacks to come out when this is released so everyone can get the IAP content for free.

  • Ray

    While people continue to pay, Rovio will continue to charge.

  • andy_o

    Bad Piggies was a great game though, they should have milked THAT franchise.

  • CrazyPaladin

    Well fudge it, I'll just wait for Sonic Sega Racing Transformed. Angry Birds Go seems to be a copy of it anyway

    • JonJJon

      Just played this today on my Vita as it was released free in the PS+ collection and I must admit it is one fun arcade racer.

      • CrazyPaladin

        I know right? A great game with casual fun and suprisingly depth you can dive into. Shame I only got the PC version and not many people even know there's such a game. Most underrated racing game on PC

    • fourthletter

      Surely they are all copies of MarioKart!

  • GraveUypo

    it's funny how a stupid boost pack costs twice as much as a AAA console title.

    if all this crap was kept 10cents and below i could maybe even buy a couple of them for a few games, but they all charge full game price for a stupid unlock, so i'd rather gring (if i like the game) or just get rid of the game entirely

    • Pratik Holla

      I know right? Asphalt 8 has 100 dollar unlock pack for the top car. I can get two AAA titles at that price. Heck I could get forza 5 for the Xbox One which would be more enjoyable. These developers will never learn.

      • Wesley Modderkolk

        "Heck I could get forza 5 for the Xbox One "
        Lolled at the example

  • WestSiide

    Worth every dollar!!

  • Sab

    Honestly, Angry Bird is on the verge of irrelevance. Lot of newer games becoming more popular. This will be the final nail in the coffin for these arrogant asshats.

  • Ivan Martinez

    $100 for an in-app purchase? You can buy a 2012 Nexus 7 for almost that much

    • Thomas’

      Or >10 AAA games on Steam.

  • Sabil V

    Its time to go back console game, Mobile Game with in app purchase is not a game, it's a business :(

  • JonJJon

    I still think it's hilarious how much they release their games for on consoles and the Vita, I laugh not only at the price but also in annoyance that devs hike the price up so much just because it is on a console platform. Yes ok there is a smaller console customer base (arguably most of which probably have a smartphone anyway these days though) but the price hike is far too over the top. So anyway it seems IAP are the thing to uber price for in the hope a kid on an unrestricted phone/tablet pressed buy a few times.

  • http://www.allankintz.com ack154

    First the Doctor Who disappointment earlier, now this. So sad. I'm sure I'll still play this, as I was looking forward to it... but damnit. Can I just pay like $3 or $4 up front and be done with it?

    • Qliphah

      I'm liking the Dr Who game, sure its derivative of pretty much every bejewled/puzzle quest game out there but the unique story and writing make it pretty fun. As for the IAP's I don't see anything that would even help the game, just a bunch of wacky costumes and such.

  • Aki I.


  • Tyler Brown

    Since when was EA the publisher for Angry Birds? /sarcasm

  • Thatguyfromvienna

    Greedy bastards.

  • Subzer0

    Guess who will wait for a modified apk version of this game (Unlimited Money) xD

  • duke69111

    I quit playing pba bowling because of this crap and I really liked the gamre.

  • Hoggles

    Bottom line is Google has to put a stop to this kind of ridiculous in game purchases.

    Some poor sap could pay hundreds for a game.

    In what world is that OK Google?

    • OkGoogle

      OK Google... NOW :D
      to be seroius Google gets something for every IAP ;) They wouldn't bite the hand that feeds them ;)

    • someguy

      It's not just Google, Apple and Microsoft games have the same bull they all need to take a stand

    • Qliphah

      I just assume the pricing is based off someone rich will buy it no matter the cost. There are tons of stupid rich people and $100 for a race car is nothing to them.

      I just assume Rovio and all the other IAP abusers see it this way too. So selling it at $5 to 1000 people could be equaled to just 50 rich snobs buying it to show off their IAPeens. Oh and accidental clicks, young unsupervised relatives, and the extremely drunk.

  • blobobob

    I can't believe what is happening with mobile games. The developers are taking a great market and trying to kill it off. Almost no games are playable without in app purchases now.

    Are we at the beginning of another games market crash?

  • TheLastAngel

    Rovio - Turning little kids into cynics since 2012.

  • http://emaxhotelmarketing.com/search-engine-optimization.php SEO Strategy For Hotel

    Not much effective as much i expect

  • Adrian Meredith

    This should be illegal, pure exploitation. I wouldn't mind if iaps would add up the full price of the game (i.e. pay full price unlock everything). The fact that to unlock a games thats worth probably no more than $30 actually costs 1000s it daylight robbery.

  • hoiff

    The original article forgot to mention of the time to wait before a bird can race singly again. Also, I spotted on a forum that the game's filesize is about half a gigabyte.

  • a.d.AM

    I think its insane when I see in app purchase amounts of $49.99, $79.99, $99.99. Do people really buy these things?? Ive spent at the most $9.99 on IAP in one game but to spend any more than that seems dumb. $100 for some digital cars?????

    • Thomas’

      Take a look for yourself (left column):

      Top In-App Purchases
      1. Jenga Game - $2.59
      2. Super Roaster - $4.19
      3. Coin Doubler - $13.99
      4. Handful of gems - $4.19
      5. Coin Doubler - $6.49 (the only reasonable IAP imho)
      6. Bag of gems - $13.99
      7. Pile of gems - $6.49
      8. Tub-copter - $13.99
      9. Royal Rumbler - $4.19
      10. Big Bang Special Edition - $64.99

      btw, Google should add this feature to Play. It's a great way to see if a game is an IAP rip-off.

      • MafiaMM

        Lol it's not #10 any longer......................it's #5!!!!

        • Thomas’


  • SlasH3R

    that is the most ridiculous thing i've ever seen, where are we gonna end, with this silly nonsense, i was expecting this game but now if things go like this i won even downloaded..
    Take this ROVIO!!! http://i.imgur.com/pFTrnwK.gif

    • Paul Tobeck

      If every decent game developer is going to do this, then Google needs to implement a system-level option to turn off in-app purchases, like iOS has. Before you say "just put it in Airplane mode", I had to delete 2 games in the last couple of months that were throwing up "You're in Airplane Mode, Click here to turn it off" prompts at my 5 year old! (see above .gif for my feelings on that bit of nonsense)

      • Thomas’

        At least the Play Store prompts you for your password since some time. As long as you don't check the "store my password" box or tell your child your password, you're safe.

  • Primalxconvoy

    Why are people so angry? This, after all, is the beauty of sideloading cracked apps with unlimited credits.

  • NadoTado

    No way man they must be crazy!


  • The_Chlero

    Well, if Rovio continues doing this, the best way of punish them in this capitalist economy is by NO BUYING THEIR GAMES.

    Easy answer, yet difficult to accomplish by many.

    • fourthletter


  • Fitzelgard Allan Gerard

    It's absolutely disgusting and absurd at how they can charge such prices that too kids are too damned vulnerable to tapping for it for the easy way out. I miss the times when games were just a dollar or less and you had twice as much fun with all the content unlockable without any need for DLC and the bugs were actually the fun part without the need for any IAP bullshit.

    This just ruins mobile gaming and gaming industry as a whole because every company wants to be like EA. Its fine if they charged for the app then give us the chance to unlock the rest without having to resort to bizzare IAP prices. They're going to milk the series for everything it's worth till people would label it as the once popular game that got murdered by IAP.

  • 8panther5

    nicely explained guide...easy to understand...i also found the 10 best Tricks to Earn Coins in Angry Birds Go