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Angry Birds merchandise like plush toys and T-shirts are raking in tons of cash for Rovio  (Source: livetechz.com)
Rovio is currently raising a round of funding that could value the company at over $1.2 billion

Who knew flinging different birds at little green pigs could be such a hit?

Angry Birds developer Rovio -- that's who.

Rovio Mobile General Manager Andrew Stalbow announced yesterday that gamers have downloaded Angry Birds more than 350 million times, according to CNN. This is 150 million more downloads than when Fortune last checked in June, and over triple the number of downloads since last March.

Stalbow also noted that mobile users play the game for more than 300 minutes each day collectively.

The game has been a great success ever since its December 2009 release, but there is much more to its success than just downloads: merchandise like shirts and plush toys have become a hit as well.

Rovio began selling Angry Birds plush toys in December 2010. As of March 2011, they sold about 2 million of them. Now, they're selling one million plush toys each month, and they're selling one million Angry Birds T-shirts monthly as well.

But wait, there's more -- Stalbow, a former Fox Entertainment executive, is expanding the game into a multimedia franchise that includes deals such as the one Rovio locked with 20th Century Fox. Rovio was able to release a "Rio" version of Angry Birds along with the movie to as a way to get in on the movie's popularity.

"People in Hollywood are really surprised with the quick acceleration in the way consumers engage with entertainment on their mobile phones," said Stalbow. "There will be some interesting entertainment partnerships that will hopefully take what we had from [Angry Birds Rio] to a totally different level."

According to Stalbow, Rovio's short films on YouTube alone have more than 170 million views.

In addition, Tech Crunch reported that Stalbow has been considering launching Angry Birds on Facebook in the future.

"Facebook has actually been a massive platform for us, even though we haven't created a game on there yet," said Stalbow. "In terms of launching a game on there in the future, yes, absolutely, that's something we'll be talking about in the near future."

Rovio will continue to focus on Angry Birds as a franchise. It finished raising its last round of money at $42 million last March, and is currently raising a round of funding that could value Rovio at over $1.2 billion.


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RE: 350 million people play crap games
By TSS on 9/13/2011 8:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
Now this doesn't have to be true. Angry birds = crush the castle + marketing. I played that game, it was fun for the time it lasted, which was about an hour if you include tries to kill the castle with a one shot hit (even if gold medal was 2 hits or more). I'm sure angry birds is fun for a little while as well.

The hype however is totally misplaced. Really, it's just a flash game, and a childish one at that. The only reason it ever got so big is because the iphone doesn't support flash and thus, can't play the hundreds of (fun) games angry birds is based on.

Don't ask the general public to understand that, however.


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