The numbers are impressive: According to Wired Magazine's profile this month, gamers spend 200 million minutes every day (that's the equivalent of 16 years every hour) playing the game. It is or has been the number-one paid app on iTunes in 68 countries, and the best-selling paid app of all time. It went straight in at number one when the new Mac App Store launched in January, selling 150,000 copies in its first week. The trailer for Angry Birds Rio hit 500,000 views on YouTube in its first weekend.
On the first anniversary of its launch on the App Store 2,405 people over 756 cities held events in celebration of the game. And both David Cameron and Kylie Minogue have come out as fans of the game.
It's also clear that Rovio Mobile, the company responsible for Angry Birds, is dead set on growing the franchise. They announced last week the company has raised an impressive $42 million in a funding round from venture capitalists in the US. With records already broken and 50 million downloads across all platforms - the birds have set their sights on Facebook and the console market.
"With Angry Birds, we have successfully launched not only a strong new brand, but also a whole new entertainment franchise," said Mikael Hed, CEO and co-founder of Rovio. "Angry Birds will continue to grow, and we aim to create more similar success stories. We will strengthen the position of Rovio and continue building our franchises in gaming, merchandising and broadcast media."
Rovio has been expanding steadily through 2010 and 2011 - it now has 50 employees in Espoo, Finland, up from the initial four developers that built the game.
What has served them so well is that they made the game adaptable to different platforms. Something we picked up on in our five business lessons from Angry Birds feature.
"The proliferation of touchscreen smartphones and tablets has lead to a huge growth in demand for mobile entertainment", said Rich Wong, Partner at Accel Partners, one of the main investors in Rovio last week. "These growth trends are changing the entire media field, and Rovio is perfectly positioned to drive this change. We believe this is just the beginning."
Oli Christie, CEO of mobile app studio Neon Play, spoke to Smarta previously about the success of the game. "Angry Birds has no doubt become the poster boy of iPhone games," he said. "It's a risk and reward issue really. It's possible to get a mega hit, but it's incredibly hard with over 250,000 apps to compete with. Allegedly, only five per cent of developers actually make a profit on their apps and it would be interesting to know how many apps turnover £70,000 or more."
Angry Birds costs 59p from the iTunes App Store.