Rovio CEO Mikael Hed says the Angry Birds game is coming to Facebook next month with “completely new aspects to it that just haven’t been experienced in any other platform” and “the pigs will have a more prominent role.”
The game has enjoyed more than 75 million downloads, so it’s about time that the game developer Rovio is expanding the franchise to the Facebook. Moreover, Finnish developer Rovio says more is to come, including the inevitable TV/movie spin-off and Angry Birds games in other genres like driving and sports.
The official Angry Birds page on Facebook also says that the game will come to the social network in a month, promising to update you on the release if you click “like.” Already 1,260,402 people have done exactly that.
The latest issue of Wired UK features an extensive profile on the studio, and quotes its senior staff on a social game version and other expansion plans. It was already confirmed that it would be expanding to consoles – a PSN version is already available, with Wii and 360 versions coming too.
“Other game developers must be envious of the meteoric rise of Angry Birds,” says Mashable.com. “First it starts out as an iPhone game, then it’s ported to Android, Palm and Nokia, then suddenly there are multiple versions of the game, and it’s showing up on PCs, PSP/PS3, Windows 7 Phone, there’s a movie tie-in, an animated series, and there’s even a 3D version in the works.”
Rovio’s ‘might eagle’ (business development), Peter Vesterbacka, confirms that other spin-offs could be in the driving and sports genres, moving away from the puzzle-strategy 2D game’s origins.
The studio is launching Angry Birds Rio in a matter of days, which is a tie-in with a Fox movie and swaps the villainous pigs for monkeys seen in the film. “We’re building an integrated entertainment franchise where merchandising, games, movies, TV, cartoons and comics all come together,” said Vesterbacka.
Vesterbacka also calls Rovio’s strategy ‘Disney 2.0’, while Mikael Hed said: “Look at how Disney got started. Steamboat Willie created Mickey Mouse, then they added more characters. You can see the same pattern today, but everything is happening much, much faster. Other brands used to build recognition over the course of decades. We’ve done it in one year.”
The firm also says it will probably launch its next game – it’s 53rd – next year. In the meantime “we are building our infrastructure with Angry Birds,” said Vesterbacka.
“So we have the distribution, the marketing, everything in place, so that we can basically take any IP and drop it in. And we have the capability of producing the games on all the platforms – smartphone, consoles, PCs, Mac, online, Facebook – you name it. Then the TV, the movie side, it will happen when the time is right.”