You know that simple, silly little game your kids won’t stop playing on Facebook or on your iPhone? The one where you use a slingshot to fling birds and destroy pigs hidden in fortresses? In spite of the fact that it seems to have been created by an incredibly stoned couch surfer, the game “has been downloaded 700 million times and is the fastest growing game on Facebook.” The company’s estimated value? Oh, just around $9 billion. But apparently that’s just the beginning.
“We want to make Angry Birds a permanent part of pop culture,” Peter Vesterbacka told Reuters, comparing the brand to Sanrio’s Hello Kitty or Nintendo’s Mario. “We’re just getting started.” Rovio is teaming up with Wal-Mart to sell its games and is planning a series of themed activity parks in Britain (They’ll apparently feature Angry Birds-inspired swings, sandpits, climbing towers, slides and outdoor arcade games).
The goal is to be an “entertainment brand,” not just a company that makes games. Not that those are doing poorly – According to a recent report by Juniper Research, the massive growth in tablets are set to push total end-user games revenues on tablets to $3.1 billion by 2014, up from $491 million in 2011. The increasing size of smart phone screens will likely aid those numbers, as well.
As games like Angry Birds become more and more popular, not just on tablets but also on smart phones, you can down on cost by buying your children used cell phones. They won’t notice any different while they’re pelting the on-screen pigs.