The wildly popular game Angry Birds hit Android phones on Friday, but the Rovio game will not be sold in the Android Market. Instead, a free download will be made available via GetJar, an independent app store.
“Selecting GetJar as the place to launch our first-ever full Android version of Angry Birds was an obvious choice,” Peter Vesterbacka, the Rovio Mobile executive known as “Mighty Eagle,” said in a press release. “GetJar’s global reach and popularity as well as their unique App It! Download service ensures that we reach a massive audience of fanatically loyal Angry Birds addicts. The unique App It! Link means we can also cross-promote our Symbian and Android versions without the need to send folks to multiple places to get their favorite game.”
Android users are apparently very interested in downloading the game. GetJar said via Twitter that it had 90,000 downloads “in seconds.” The link to GetJar.com was live for a time, but is now telling users to try downloading the game via m.getjar.com on your Android phone.
At 10am Eastern time, Rovio also announced via its Twitter feed that overwhelming demand had brought down its servers.
“Oops! Due to the enormous traffic generated by the Android launch of Angry Birds, rovio.com is down,” according to a note on Rovio.com. “The site will be up shortly.”
Mobile users are crazy for the 195-level game that slingshots little red birds with menacing unibrows into the air to demolish towers and squash little green pigs. Released last December, Angry Birds is one of the top paid iPhone applications in the world. Rovio said the game is in 67 countries, including many Middle Eastern nations, China, and Russia.
Until this week, it sat comfortably at the number one spot for several months in Apple’s app store. Priced at $0.99, it’s been downloaded more than six million times. It’s available for devices running on a Symbian platform, but currently, it’s just a demo with only 15 levels. Earlier this month at CTIA, Rovio said a full version would soon be offered for Symbian phones, too.
The current Android version is ad-supported, but a paid, ad-free edition of the game is set to be released later. Angry Birds is also available for Palm and Nokia phones.
Last month, GetJar announced that it would give away free games for Android, BlackBerry, and Java phones over a two-week period. GetJar is huge, but it has had some trouble getting visibility here in the U.S., so the move was a bit of a stunt to get noticed in the states.
Earlier this month, Rovio and Microsoft got into a tiff over whether Angry Birds would be supported on Windows Phone 7. After Microsoft placed the game’s icon on its site, Rovio tweeted that it had “NOT committed to doing a Windows Phone 7 version” and that “Microsoft put the Angry Birds icon on their site without our permission.” Microsoft removed the image and said it was placed there by mistake.