Rovio Entertainment CMO Peter Vesterbacka announced the company's hit game Angry Birds has become the fastest growing game in history, scoring 500 million downloads in less than two years since its December 2009 release, the most for any game all-time.
This is a fantastic landmark achievement for us, and we're extremely delighted to see such an incredible amount of people enjoying our games, said Rovio CEO Mikael Hed. We remain committed to creating more fun experiences and bringing exceptional quality to 'Angry Birds' fans everywhere.
The Finland-based company, speaking at the Slush 2011 event in Helsinki, also says that Angry Birds is now the No. 1 game in 79 countries. Users have played 266 billion levels and shot 400 billion birds. Gamers worldwide play the game for 300 million minutes daily, which amounts to a grand total of 200,000 years.
For those who have never played Angry Birds, the game is simple: players use a slingshot to launch multi-colored birds at structures populated by evil green pigs. Players must eliminate all of the pigs from each level before moving on. There are currently three different iterations of the game, including the original 'Angry Birds,' the holiday-themed 'Angry Birds Seasons,' and 'Angry Birds Rio,' which was released as a promotional tie-in with the 20th Century Fox animated film Rio.
But even with three games and countless levels and collectibles, people still want more Angry Birds. The company has been growing in size to accommodate the high demand, developing a long line of Angry Birds-themed toys, apparel, accessories, board games, and a cookbook. Since the company recruited former Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel, producer of the Iron Man films, fans can also expect a feature-length Angry Birds movie in the near future.
Hollywood is hot for the brand, said Rovio's North American GM Andrew Stalbow. There's a very strong focus on Angry Birds to turn it into an entertainment franchise. That's why I joined.
Given Rovio's unprecedented success in gaming, many expect the company to go public as early as next year. Analysts have pegged Rovio's valuation at $1 billion, but Vesterbacka believes it's probably a bit north of that.
We think we have a good shot at being the first entertainment brand that has a billion fans, Vesterbacka said.
Rovio's most recent round in funding came in March, when the company raised $42 million from investors like Accel Partners and Atomico Ventures. Hed believes the company would hold another funding round before going public.
We're still building a lot of our infrastructure, our company, our platform, everything, Vesterbacka said. There's a lot of good discipline in having to be ready to go public.
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Smith manages and coordinates the activities of the technology subsection of the company, contributing...