Rovio, Angry Birds Developer : 100 Million Downloads Later

If you have lived under a rock for the last few years, Angry Birds is a mobile phone game that is both annoyingly addictive and immensely enjoyable. Like all classic games Tetris, Frogger etc, it’s success comes from it’s simplicity.

angry birds rovio

Using use a slingshot type device the players aim is to ‘launch’ birds at various different structures. Housed inside these structures are the birds enemy the pigs, your aim is to destroy the building and therefore ‘squash’ the pigs within before you run out of birds. Succeed and you move on to the next structure, and so on and so on….

The first thing we do when reviewing a new mobile is install Angry Birds, you can get a good judge of it’s graphics and speed just from playing the game on it.

Originally only for the iPhone, it’s now available on every Mobile Operating System (Prime Minister David Cameron plays the game on his iPad) and very soon there will be an Xbox version ‘winging’ it’s way to the shops. It’s been quite a success story for the games developer Rovio and income from the game is rumoured to be over £2m a month.

Rovio InterviewWe spoke to the Rovio Team about their success story.

How long did Angry Birds take to develop?
The idea was first pitched in March of 2009, and the game was released in December of the same year.

Were you surprised by the huge success of the game?
We set out from the beginning to create a game with massive appeal, and we knew from the beginning that we had something special on our hands. Even so, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the incredible response we’ve gotten!

Why do you think it has been so popular?
Angry Birds appeals to every demographic. It’s easy to play but difficult to master, making it appealing for both casual and more experienced players. The fun, colorful characters have a broad appeal, and the cartoonish gameplay is appropriate for kids as well as adults. We release updates often so there are always new levels to play.

Going beyond gameplay – and Angry Birds as a brand has already gone way beyond gaming – people seem to really like the characters. Maybe it’s because of their humorous, eternal battle with the pigs, or their bright, bold design. Whatever the reason, people just really connect with the birds.

Are there any new versions on the way?
We are always working on something new. Most recently, we released the Google+ version, which adds a social element to the gameplay by letting you either cooperate with or compete against your friends. We’ve got special Mid-Autumn Festival themed levels coming up for Angry Birds Seasons, which have the birds traveling to China to celebrate the moon festival.

We’re also working on some really fun projects that preserve what fans love about the game while bringing in unexpected new elements, so keep an eye out!

What is the movie going to be like? Will it be live action or cartoon?
It’s all very secret at the moment so we don’t want to give away too many details yet, but we can say that we’re really focusing on creating a quality experience.

We just hired David Maisel, former Chairman of Marvel, as a Special Advisor, and we recently acquired the Finnish animation studio Kombo. We want to keep tight control over the creative process and create a movie that Angry Birds fans will love.

What other stuff do you have in development at present?
Right now, our biggest expansion is in merchandising, publishing, and entertainment. We’ve just published a cookbook and are planning several more titles in the near future. At the moment we can’t really get into the details of our upcoming games and entertainment ventures, but we are very excited about them and think that our fans will be too.

[nggallery id=66]

Do you think so called ‘major’ developers take mobile gaming more seriously after the success of Angry Birds?
Definitely! Angry Birds alone has 300 million downloads and fans from all over the world, and it’s just one of many successful mobile games. There is clearly a huge market for mobile gaming!

Rovio Angry Birds Interview