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Angry Birds on TV

January 20, 2011

Just one year after its release, the popular Finnish mobile video game is expanding to new venues. In addition to Mac, Android, and PSP versions, the game now also comes in toy versions and eventually, a TV show.

Angry Birds logo
Angry Birds was first released in December 2009Image: AP/Rovio

Rovio Mobile, the Finnish startup video game company that developed the increasingly popular game 'Angry Birds', announced this week that it would be creating an animated television series based on the game.

"There's no contract or anything," said Ville Heijari, a spokesperson, in an interview with Deutsche Welle.

"We're talking with a lot of production companies in the US, we're talking with a number of people and finding the best possible writers. It's still very preliminary stages. But the plan is to bring it out at some point this year."

Angry Birds was originally launched in December 2009 for the iOS, the operating system found on the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Since, it has been the number one paid app for months on nearly all the iTunes stores across Europe, and in many other countries around the world.

The puzzle game involves shooting cutesy, colorful birds fired by slingshot towards "enemy" pigs who are stacked amongst various obstacles.

Angry Birds toys
Angry Birds are now also available as a plush toyImage: by-sa-cc

In recent months Rovio Mobile has been rapidly expanding the number of mobile phone, computer and video console platforms that the game is available on - Angry Birds is now available for Google Android, PSP, PS3 and many others.

Earlier this month, the toymaker Mattel also announced that it would be producing a physical toy version of the game with plastic birds, and cards to go along with it, which will be released in May.

Observers carefully watching Angry Birds' rise

Some video game analysts have been intrigued by Rovio's recent success.

"I believe that the success of Angry Birds as a game highlights the opportunity that independent developers still have to compete successfully against established publishers (such as Electronic Arts), in particular on smartphones and tablets," said Colin Sebastian, a video game industry analyst with Lazard Capital Markets, in an e-mail sent to Deutsche Welle.

"Given the popularity of the game, it makes sense to expand onto other game platforms, although I don't know whether it will be successful as a toy or TV show."

Despite the new merchandising outlets, Heijari said that the game will continue to develop as it expands into newer platforms, like the XBox 360 and the Nintendo Wii.

He added that the gameplay would change as it incorporates the unique features of each platform - like the Wii's physical motion controller, the Wiimote.

"It's a whole-hearted entertainment for people of all ages," he said. "How the game works, the physics-based gameplay, and then you add the funny characters. All of these different parts add up to a game that's really easy to pick up and really hard to put down."

Author: Cyrus Farivar
Editor: Nicole Goebel