According to a recent interview on NPR, the creator of the physics behind Angry Birds, Erin Catto, hasn't received any money from Rovio, the company who's gone on to make over $1.2 billion on the franchise. The fascinating NPR interview with Catto detailed how the father-of-two previously created a free program called Box 2D which millions of programmers used to create games once the smartphone market exploded. Catto released Box 2D for free back in 2006, and since then the program has remained free at Box 2D website.
Rovio went on to use Box 2D, just as thousands of other companies did, to create their game Angry Birds. Angry Birds, a game with a simple objective where gamers have to use a slingshot to fling angry birds at green pigs, was released in 2009 and has gone on to sell over 700 million copies. Gamers of all types have become addicted to Angry Birds at one time or another, and its characters have been made into toys, put on clothing, and just about everything else. There are even rumors that an Angry Birds movie may be on the way.
All Erin Catto has received from the mass success of Angry Birds is a red sweatshirt, and he doesn't even like the color red. "If they would send me a blue one I would wear it!” he said.
“Almost everyone says ‘Jeez, Erin, you could have your own island now if you just charged for Box 2D!’ said Catto. "The ironic thing about that is then I wonder what if Angry Birds used something else because I was gonna charge for it? Well, maybe if they used something else that wasn’t as good, maybe Angry Birds wouldn’t have succeeded. And I’m just happy that everyone is enjoying the games."
While Catto may not have gone on to become a millionaire, he did earn his dream job, adding physics to games for Blizzard Entertainment, the developer behind huge titles like World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2, and that's perfectly enough for him.
You can read the full article over at KPCC.org.