《愤怒的小鸟》（Angry Birds）这款仅售99美分的热门手机游戏自2009年12月以来，下载量已经超过8900万次，芬兰开发商Rovio Mobile工作室也因此而名利双收。据Rovio首席执行官Peter Vesterbacka所称，这款游戏还仅处于向前发展的第一阶段，“对我们来说，《愤怒的小鸟》的意义已经远不只是一款游戏。”
在日前的GDC大会上，Vesterbacka介绍了这款游戏的发展历程及未来前景，他表示《愤怒的小鸟》是Rovio的第52个作品，也是最终让Rovio打响名气的一款游戏。据游戏邦了解，《愤怒的小鸟》在芬兰App Store创下销量纪录后，又在瑞典App Store登上了冠军宝座，它取得的这一成绩与瑞典滑雪运动员安尼娅·帕尔森（Anja Pärson）有关，帕尔森当时曾表示她在受伤等待康复期间，最喜欢玩的就是《愤怒的小鸟》。据游戏邦了解，这款游戏在美国和其他70多个国家中，一直高居手机游戏榜首，仅偶尔几次被其他游戏超越（游戏邦注：目前有一款名为《Tiny Wings》的新游戏已经取而代之，成为多个国家App Store的下载冠军）。
Vesterbacka表示，《愤怒的小鸟》最近还登上了超级杯广告，并开发了《Angry Birds Rio》这款植入20世纪福克斯动画电影元素的新游戏，进行品牌推广合作。据游戏邦了解，这款新游戏将于3月22日问世。该游戏并非简单的品牌植入，而是一个将Rio的故事与《愤怒的小鸟》游戏紧密结合的项目。
What’s Next for Angry Birds?
Angry Birds, the furious face of iPhone gaming, was never intended to be a humble offering. The 99-cent game, in which players fling cartoonish birds from slingshots at fortified pigs who have stolen their eggs, has sold more than 89 million copies since Dec. 2009 and brought fame and fortune to Finnish studio Rovio Mobile. It has been held as an example of the runaway success to which lesser known game makers can aspire on the platform. But according to Peter Vesterbacka, the CEO and “Mighty Eagle” of Rovio, the game is simply the first stage of a plan that has long been in motion. “Angry Birds to us is more than a game,” he said.
Vesterbacka outlined the past and future of the franchise during a panel yesterday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Angry Birds is the 52nd game from Rovio, the launch that finally broke the floodgates for the studio. After topping sales in Finland’s App Store, it reached the No. 1 position in Sweden thanks to a favorable mention by Swedish skier Anja Pärson, who said she had enjoyed playing the game while recovering from a spill. In the U.S. and more than 70 other countries, it has dominated game downloads for the better part of a year, with few lapses (a new bite-size game called Tiny Wings recently edged it out of the top spot, but perhaps not for long).
Recently the game has landed a Super Bowl advertisement—”the ultimate when it comes to joint promotions,” Vesterbacka said—and a collaboration with 20th Century Fox in the form of Angry Birds Rio, which is due out on March 22. (The animated feature film “Rio,” featuring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway, comes out April 15.) The game is not a typically “lame” tie-in, Vesterbacka said, but rather an “authentic” project that expands on the “Rio” story.
This is a notion of authenticity that Rovio sees as particular to the iOS platform and the current games industry. Vesterbacka described the pre-iPhone mobile gaming scene: “You don’t really need 27 brands of toothpaste. You just need one, and it doesn’t even have to be good.” Under this “carrier-dominated, Soviet-style model,” people would settle for mediocre poker games simply because they couldn’t buy anything else. The iPhone App Store changed everything in 2007 by making products easily and widely accessible, so that developers “actually have to make good games,” Vesterbacka said.
Rovio has consistently paired its creative success with marketing savvy. Vesterbacka used the image of a tree and branches to show how the original Angry Birds game has produced plush toys and other physical merchandise; its first in-app purchase, a powerful Mighty Eagle that 40 percent of Angry Birds owners have bought for 99 cents; and a Super Bowl ad. These are in addition to the free game updates that occur every few weeks and extend the life of the game; and the Angry Birds Seasons game that released last Halloween and will next update on St. Patrick’s Day.
“Let’s make games until we have a big hit, and then take it to all the other platforms,” Vesterbacka said of Rovio’s business plan. Now that Angry Birds has been ported to the Nokia N900, Android, Wave OS, PC, Mac, and soon gaming consoles, it can be built into “a relevant entertainment franchise” that includes an animated series and possibly more television projects. There is a feeling of inevitability to the way Vesterbacka describes the growth of Angry Birds—like that of a seed that the company has carefully gardened, rather than a surprise hit.（source:wsj.com）