How the Angry Birds became transmedia pioneers 

From the beginning, the Angry Birds brand has reached outside of mobile gaming to provide fans with exciting experiences in a wide variety of formats. From the first licensed products in 2010 to the animated movies and location-based entertainment (LBE) attractions that followed, Angry Birds has spread its wings in a way no other brand with mobile gaming heritage has.

Rovio Entertainment Corporation (Rovio) is the global mobile-first games company behind the Angry Birds brand, evolving from games to various entertainment, animations, and consumer products in brand licensing. Since 2003, the business has developed dozens of games for early mobile platforms. Fifty-one games later, near bankruptcy, and in need of a big hit, its 52nd game, Angry Birds, became one of the biggest mobile games and entertainment brand success stories of all time.

From an animated in-game series to hitting Hollywood in 2016, the Angry Birds Movie was the first film to be based on a mobile game. Boasting a star-studded voice cast, it was a blockbuster hit, opening at number one in 50 countries.

Angry Birds’ 15th birthday is coming up in December 2024 and the company is currently preparing for the anniversary with celebrations and activities planned for the months around the major milestone. Proud of its achievements over the years, Angry Birds has become an evergreen brand with touch points in all entertainment areas. There are also many exciting partnerships planned from LBE attractions and consumer products to game activations.

In June 2023, Prime Video and Amazon Kids+ announced a series order from Rovio for Angry Birds Mystery Island. The series features Rovio’s beloved young birds, the Hatchlings, who must work together with their new piglet friend to survive on a deserted island with supernatural elements. Over the course of 24 episodes in the first season, the show promises lots of fun, mystery, and adventure, with irreverent humor and pop culture references that all members of the family will enjoy.

Additionally, the short form series Angry Birds Slingshot stories that goes behind the scenes of the Angry Birds games is back with 30 new episodes and premiered on October 15th, 2023. Audiences can’t get enough of the classic round birds and pigs in this animated series that gives viewers a peek into life behind the scenes of the Angry Birds games. Previous seasons are available to stream via Netflix and on YouTube.

This new season, something terrible is about to happen and the fate of the precious eggs hangs in the balance. There is no shortage of drama between the birds and pigs living in close quarters behind the tiny screens of our mobile devices. Audiences are guaranteed plenty of silly squabbles and awkward encounters delivered with trademark humor.

Angry Birds is one of the most watched brands by children aged between eight and 16 in the US and the UK, according to the Kids Know Best study 2022, and YouTube is an important and growing platform. Subscribers amount to over six million and that number is constantly growing. Watch time reflects how the content is consumed, and this number is also increasing, which is extremely positive and demonstrates how consumers are continuing to engage with the videos. Between 2022 and 2023, the business saw a 42 percent increase in watch time. Additionally, the movies are still equally important and are distributed on more than 120 platforms globally, thereby continuing to generate significant engagement.

Immersive experiences
The brand is also performing exceptionally well in the LBE arena. A brand-new cafe full of Angry Birds experiences opened in New York on July 8th, 2023. The cafe features tasty pastries, trendy bubble teas, gaming, a retail section, and unique photo opportunities with the gaming characters. Called iSwii by Angry Birds, it is the first Angry Birds retail cafe in the world. It opened in Flushing’s latest family-friendly destination spot, Tangram.

Furthermore, a new free-roaming immersive Angry Birds experience has made its debut. The immersive experience first launched at the IAAPA Expo Europe and was created by Attraktion! for its Playneo game system. A free-roaming concept, Playneo, which is configurable for up to 16 people, sees players stand in the center of a room with immersive 270° projected environments covering the space. Playneo utilizes Attraktion!’s Active Shield technology, which is a wireless handheld device used during gameplay to trigger events and score points. Taking out-of-home group gaming to the next level, the Angry Birds offering is set to launch at inaugural venues in the US, Austria, Germany and the UAE.

New partnerships
2023 has been phenomenal, with additional partnerships announced throughout the year. For example, the original Angry Birds slingshot game was launched to the dashboard touchscreen of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class. This marks a first-of-its-kind collaboration with a luxury automotive brand, further elevating its growing international suite of consumer products and experiences. Both brands are known for driving innovation, shaping trends and creating incredible experiences.

A further partnership was announced with Legends of Learning, which has resulted in a series of educational games that leverage the iconic characters and settings of the Angry Birds franchise. With thousands of curriculum-aligned math and science games, the educational platform helps teachers make classrooms fun and productive environments through research driven game-based learning.

In another exciting deal facilitated by the global licensing agency, IMG, Sweden-based Live Brands Factory AB announced a partnership with Rovio to launch a collection of Angry Birds soda, ice cream, and cake products in the Swedish market. The initial launch will include a selection of soft drinks called Red (raspberry), Chuck (pear) and Piggy (watermelon), with the name and appearance of each flavor representing popular Angry Birds characters.

In more exciting news, Sega Europe made a bid to acquire over 90 percent of Rovio’s shares, and the deal was completed in August 2023. As the Angry Birds’ anniversary approaches, over the next 12 months, Rovio will unveil further partnerships in the pipeline. Angry Birds remains unique among mobile game brands in the varied experiences it provides to fans at different touchpoints and every experience is delivered with the same trademark humor and attitude that made the birds a household name.