2 Billion Downloads: Why Angry Birds Is Quickly Becoming The Most Successful Brand In The World

January 24, 2014 4:17 PM

We all remember when Angry Birds flew onto our screens back in 2009. This year, the game’s producers, Rovio, announced that they have since recorded a breath-taking 2 billion downloads. You heard right. 2 billion. Let’s put that number in a bit of context shall we? This means that almost 1 in 3 people in the entire world have downloaded the addictive bird flinging game. Even Facebook currently only has a tiny 1.2 billion users. But that’s not the only impressive stat. There are reportedly still 200 million players a month. For a game that’s five years old, that’s pretty impressive. So why exactly is this very simple game still so popular and becoming a powerful mega-franchise?  We take a look at the possible reasons behind our Angry Bird addiction…

For starters, the game’s premise is beautifully simple, making it appropriate and accessible for both young children and adults alike. The aim of the game is to use a slingshot to fling wingless birds at various arrangements of evil piggies. As the player advances through the increasingly difficult levels, special birds become available allowing the players to use features (like exploding birds) to aid them in their battle against the pigs. So simple, yet so addictive.

Angry Birds Halloween Edition

Angry Birds Halloween Edition

Once we start toppling piggy structures we can’t help but go on to the next level and it became the most effective mobile procrastination because of its constant accessibility. It requires a combination of a minimal amount of skill and, more importantly, your own personal tactics to succeed which also contributes to its addictive nature. If one method fails, we try another one. Add funny animations and comical noises to this simple gameplay and you’ve got one entertaining game.

So it’s a great game to play. Why does that make it so special? There are tonnes of great games out there. Well the clever guys over at Rovio managed to keep the game fresh and relevant too. They made additional content freely accessible to Angry Bird fans and also commenced a conveyor belt of special editions and promotional holiday versions of the game on a regular basis. So whilst you might have had your fill of the original for a while, why not download the Christmas special? Same brilliant gameplay but with that extra special festive touch. We lapped it up.

To build on this popularity, Rovio enabled Angry Birds to be downloaded on nearly every platform possible, making it the most accessible game on the market. Astonishingly, you can now play Angry Birds on nearly every games console and smart phone out there from Xbox and PlayStation to iPhones, Nokia Lumias and Blackberries. And let’s not forget the tablets. Essentially, any platform with a screen has been infected with Angry Birds fever and with plans to make it on to next-gen consoles, they show no signs of slowing down.

Once they realised we’ll take any piece of Angry Bird action we could get hold of, that’s when Rovio really came into their own. As of 2012, 45% of Rovio’s revenue came from their own branded merchandise. Type Angry Birds into clothing on Amazon and over 300 products come up. Do the same for toys and games and nearly 3000 products are available. On their official online shop you can purchase anything from plush toys to caps and hats to mini speakers, all with the loveable Angry Birds branding. Not only does this contribute to their revenue, but it also serves as free advertising and an invaluable method of raising brand awareness.

An Angry Birds T-Shirt

An Angry Birds T-Shirt

The most outstanding contributing factor to Angry Bird’s success is the creators’ unwillingness to rest on their laurels. Despite already being the most successful mobile app ever made, they are constantly developing the brand and conquering every sphere they enter into. Undoubtedly, there are infinite additions to the Angry Birds’ collection of 9 existing games still to come. But more significantly, there are plans in the pipeline for the mega-franchise to branch into other forms of media which would surely cement its place in gaming history.

After already conquering TV with the Angry Birds Toons show, an Angry Birds movie is scheduled, financed and produced by Rovio themselves, distributed by Sony Pictures and due for release in 2016. As well as this, there are various other campaigns to expand the brand into other areas including the announcement that UK attraction, Thorpe Park, has made public plans to open an Angry Birds land within their existing theme park in the summer of 2014.

So there you have it. Somewhere in there is Rovio’s secret formula to serious media success and whilst many have tried to recreate the ever-expanding empire that is saturating every inch of the market it can claw its way into, none have come close. Candy Crush Saga is the nearest competitor with 500 million. Angry Birds continues to produce incredible figures and stats but by far the most memorable and one that will take some beating is the 2 billion downloads the company now has under its belt. Way to go Angry Birds. We look forward to seeing what’s next for the little critters as it seems there’s no limit to what they can achieve. Game on!