7 Growth Hacks Angry Birds 2 Did NOT Use

Over the last six years, we have all been accustomed to slingshotting birds. During its lifetime, there have been a lot of Angry Birds variations to kill time with, and this summer Rovio finally launched their legacy sequel: Angry Birds 2. Not surprisingly it topped the downloads charts and have officially been downloaded more than 50 M times!

Angry Birds 2 has been a success, but what features have been put into the game to help spread the word? Or was it only the brand awareness that drove the downloads? We took a closer look at the game to learn more about the in-game growth aspects implemented to increase the k-factor, as well as suggesting a few of our own. Grab a bird, smash a pig and follow us through a dissection of Angry Birds 2:

Dissection of Angry Birds 2


What You Can Learn from Angry Birds 2

After dissecting the game, the overall feel is Angry Birds + Candy Crush = Angry Birds 2. For those hardcore gamers out there we would also like to throw in Hearthstone to the equation due to the introduction of spells and cards. Still with a strong brand, we would like to emphasize on a few takeaways for other game developers out there:

  • Use of social roadmap: Good artists copy, Great artists steal. Again: Candy Crush all over the place and it is proven to work for level based games. From the very first version of Candy Crush, your friends position on the road has been visualized to trigger your competitive nerve. This was repeated in Candy Crush Soda Saga. It’s also a great incentive to connect to Facebook and to invite friends to compete against you.
  • Give two choices: When the player is out of cards, Angry Birds 2 lets the player choose to either watch a video ad or pay to continue. We experienced a feeling of joy when we could choose to watch the video ad instead of paying. To have a choice is a strong monetization mechanism.
  • Incentivize Facebook Connect: Players are incentivized to connect to Facebook by receiving 70 gems and are able to gift friends.
  • Gifting friends: Gifting is an extremely powerful engagement feature. A good way to incentivize Facebook log-in as well.
  • Send player right into the next game: When a player has completed a level, the only natural next step is to hit ‘Next’. An animation takes the player back to the road map, automatically moves the player to the next level and enter it the with a clear call-to-action: Play! This is a very powerful engagement mechanism which keeps the player longer in the game session.
  • Introducing something to come: Angry Birds 2 is teasing about the arena starting at level 25. This is a smart move to encourage continued playing, which improves retention and make players get the hang of the game while reaching level 25.

Suggestions for Further Growth

After playing Angry Birds 2 for a while, the whole growth experience seems slapped on. Leading with this, we believe it could have been implemented a lot better. Here are a few things that we believe can improve the growth of the game further:

  • Use multiple channels: Connecting to Facebook is not enough anymore. Players prefer other channels to share and invite their friends. The world is moving from social media to messaging, and so should Angry Birds 2.
  • Update the Facebook App Invite UI: The new one looks better and let players customize the invite text so it’s personal to the recipient. Most Facebook Invites feels like spammy notifications when they are not made personalized. The invite view showed existing Angry Birds 2 playing friends on top. This seems odd as the goal should be to bring ew friends into the game and not existing ones.
  • Incentivized invites: Players can be encouraged and reminded to invite their friends if they are incentivized. Incentives can i.e. be more cards, lives, and spells.
  • Ask for notification opt-in at the right time: As a player I never accepted to receive notifications from games or services when they ask me right after I open it. Why not wait until the player understands how it will benefit them?
  • Fake localized friends as placeholders: Soda Saga showed what appeared to be fake Norwegian friends as placeholders on the highscore list before connecting to Facebook. It made us stop for a moment to wonder who these people were. It’s a nice way to learn what will happen when I connect to Facebook, instead of the blank list used in Angry Birds 2.
  • Be able to share your score: Do you know that feeling when you’ve spent hours completing a level and you finally make it? Yes, that is the moment you just have to tell the world about. The world has to know! Why make it hard: Take a screenshot, close the app, open another app, share it. Implement features for easy sharing instead, and more players might share their proud moments with the right audience. Angry Birds 2 have a lot to learn from Crossy Road on this topic.
  • Share GIFs of an unbelievable shot: Players loves to show off their skills to other competitive friends. Why not let players capture amazing shots with GIFs to share with others?

Other Dissections

Like our dissections? Don’t worry. There’s more:

If you enjoyed this dissection and want to see more or give feedback, please suggest other mobile games to be dissected on Twitter: @Megacool_co or in the comments below.

Thanks for reading! Stay Megacool and recommend this post if you found it helpful so others can find it too :)

About Megacool

Megacool is helping app developers to boost their organic growth with GIFs and incentivized referrals. Sign-up here. Prior to founding Megacool, we successfully launched the Fun Run games with over 100 million organic players as part of the amazing Dirtybit team.