Traffic map
Article updated: 6/2/2012 6:44 AM

Angry Birds spread their wings beyond gaming world

Angry Birds Land, the new part of the Sarkanniemi amusement park in Tampere, is just one of Rovio's new additions. The Finnish gaming company that made the eponymous Angry Birds title — with more than 1 billion downloads to date — is now spreading its wings beyond the virtual world. It has already launched plush toys, lunchboxes, clothing, stationery, food and drink items, a Formula 1 driver sponsorship deal and a jewelry line with the Angry Birds theme. Rovio this week announced it would launch an Angry Birds-branded debit card in Russia in partnership with a local bank. Next up: Angry Birds Land, one of the highlights of a theme park opening next month in the Finnish city of Tampere. (AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Antti Aimo-Koivisto) FINLAND OUT

Angry Birds Land, the new part of the Sarkanniemi amusement park in Tampere, is just one of Rovio's new additions. The Finnish gaming company that made the eponymous Angry Birds title -- with more than 1 billion downloads to date -- is now spreading its wings beyond the virtual world. It has already launched plush toys, lunchboxes, clothing, stationery, food and drink items, a Formula 1 driver sponsorship deal and a jewelry line with the Angry Birds theme. Rovio this week announced it would launch an Angry Birds-branded debit card in Russia in partnership with a local bank. Next up: Angry Birds Land, one of the highlights of a theme park opening next month in the Finnish city of Tampere. (AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Antti Aimo-Koivisto) FINLAND OUT

 

associated press, april 2012

Angry Birds Land at the Sarkanniemi amusement park in Tampere, Finland.

Angry Birds Land at the Sarkanniemi amusement park in Tampere, Finland.

 

associated press, may 2012

 1 of 2 
 
text size: AAA
By Associated Press

TAMPERE, Finland -- At Rovio, the future is Angry.

The Finnish gaming company behind Angry Birds -- with more than 1 billion downloads to date -- is now spreading its wings beyond the virtual world.

Advertisement

It has already launched plush toys, lunchboxes, clothing, stationery, food and drink items, a Formula 1 driver sponsorship deal and a jewelry line. Rovio this week announced it would launch an Angry Birds-branded debit card in Russia in partnership with a local bank. Next up: Angry Birds Land, one of the highlights of a theme park opening next month in the Finnish city of Tampere.

"All of our products are doing great" says Ville Heijari, Rovio's VP of Franchise Development. "The moon cakes we sold in China during last year's mid-Autumn Festival have done especially well."

The Rovio office interiors are exactly what you'd expect from a brash online startup: a central lounge area with couches and overstuffed Angry Birds cushions, the open-plan kitchen where employees are encouraged to mingle and exchange ideas, walls covered with larger-than-life Angry Birds characters, TV screens showing download charts, and a flock of Angry Birds toys perched on almost every flat surface.

There's no way employees or visitors -- who must sign a nondisclosure form before being allowed inside -- can forget which birds laid the golden eggs that fund the company.

Rovio had barely a dozen employees during the 2009 launch of Angry Birds, which features a colorful cast of avian characters who are launched by catapult, and smash their way through a series of defenses created by their Pig enemies, who have stolen eggs from the Angry Birds nest.

The latest incarnation of the game -- Angry Birds Space -- was downloaded 50 million times in the first 35 days of release, and currently sits at number two in the iPhone and iPad paid download charts.

Now, Rovio employs more than 350 multinational staff, with offices in two Finnish cities, Shanghai and later this year Stockholm.

In 2011, some 30 percent of Rovio's $106.3 million total revenue came from merchandising sales and licensing deals. Executive Vice President of Consumer Products Harri Koponen says pitches for new products come from "our fans, of course our employees, industry people who are working with us."

Finland has become something of an early testing center for Angry Birds products which could be rolled out around the world. The most visible of these is Angry Birds Land at Sarkanniemi Amusement Park.

The centerpiece of the development is a sprawling adventure trail for children -- combining climbing frames, slides, rope ladders, tunnels and a climbing wall. A soundtrack with character noises and music from the games is played around the area.

"I think it's in a way a dream come true," says Miikka Seppala, Sarkanniemi's CEO.

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Business Video
Area Business Calendar

BusinessDirectory

Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity