Angry Birds is the first mobile game to have real mainstream success. So what’s next for the game that pits fowl against swine?Any time in history when two dominant forces have had to share space—such as the PC and Mac, Google and every other search engine—someone tends to get mad. According to Peter Vesterbacka, marketing and branding manager for Rovio Mobile, that’s what happened on a remote island where birds and pigs were the primary species. The gluttonous pigs would eat the birds’ eggs. The birds sought vengeance by launching themselves in a slingshot at the pigs in hopes of killing them and destroying their forts. This battle, by the way, rages on in the form of the Angry Birds mobile game played on millions of smart phones every day.
And while pitting fowl against swine is a whole lot of fun, what makes the game particularly special is that it’s managed to move beyond traditional gamers and strike a cultural chord. Since its creation in 2009, Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 80 million times. There are plush toys—a million sold since they debuted in October—a board game coming soon, a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox, and videogame versions in the works. In the midst of a mobile-app boom, Angry Birds is, in effect, the first of its kind to go mainstream, ingraining itself in everyone from tweens to Al Gore. “Our vision is to build this into a massive entertainment franchise, along the lines of Mario Brothers or SpongeBob [SquarePants],” says Vesterbacka, also known as “Mighty Eagle.”
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