This past weekend, the uber-popular mobile gaming sensation Angry Birds celebrated its second year since leaving the nest – amidst a catapult ride into the world of mass marketing and ahead of landing on new forms of media such as the future movie!
If you don’t know Angry Birds, you must have lived the last 2 years in a tech vortex! Since December 10th 2009 the brightly coloured feathered flyers and their assault against the egg-thieving popping green pigs has been downloaded a staggering 350-million times – in an original version which was launched solely for Apple’s iOS gadgets, then later those running Google’s Android and Chrome desktop web-browser, with Windows Phone getting game most recently.
Avian addicts will know that the Angry Birds gameplay involves firing the brightly coloured wingless birds with a catapult (touchscreen controlled) at their nemeses which are protected by crudely built and destroyable wood, stone and metal structures. Each bird carries a unique ability and can take out specific obstacles, and their piggy targets, depending on their speed, size and special tricks – some explode, some break off into clusters and the most recent addition inflates to maximum devastation! The game is part puzzler, and some levels need repetitive play to master and a great deal of skill to knock off all the pigs, thus clearing the stage.
The ‘standard’ Angry Birds began two years ago with the stage “Poached Eggs” and added more levels periodically. It was followed by spin-off Seasons – which was a new app, delivering regularly updated levels based on specific annual events, such as annual events and seasons such as Christmas, Halloween and the Chinese Lantern Festival (wouldn’t ya guess..?). This in turn was followed by Angry Birds Rio, a tie-in to the animated movie Rio, which recently added the character Blue to the playable bird arsenal – but this one was merely a cash-in and hasn’t really made the crashing impact of its predecessors.
Angry Birds have since flown the nest into ambitious new ventures. Earlier this year, the often vehement voice of Rovio boss Peter Vesterbacka declared that Angry Birds would take over all entertainment and popular media in the next year – and he wasn’t just squawking. In the last year, the appeal of the Angry Birds, from a once humble app game, has seen them firstly become a range of plush toys, then all manner of tie-ins and gadgets from the Angry Birds speakers, Angry Birds board game, Angry Birds costumes to a new Angry Birds cookbook – with all egg-based recipes, of course. Angry Birds merch is so in demand that a dedicated store recently opened up in the bird’s home habitat of Finland and the little pluckers have even disgraced the cover of iconic American funny book MAD Magazine, joining such world figures such as Barack Obama and Justin Bieber.
It’s been confirmed that Angry Birds will land their own movie franchise within the next two years, with creators in talks including a former exec of Marvel Entertainment who has worked on the Iron Man movies and Thor.
If you update your copy of Angry Birds today for your iOS or Android gadget, you’ll find a new birthday cake themed level to be enjoyed and get hooked on! Seems like the fun has just begun – Happy Bird-Day!
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