Rovio is pushing “Angry Birds” in China. The Espoo, Finland-based developer is taking advantage of the country’s obsession with mobile gaming by tailoring its games to the Chinese market under a partnership with Beijing Kunlun, Reuters reported Thursday.
“Angry Birds” has already seen half a billion downloads in China, the news agency said. Last November, Rovio announced plans to open nine “Angry Birds” theme parks by 2018. ‘‘China is an extremely important market for us and we’re constantly looking for ways to provide innovative fan experiences by bridging the digital with the physical.
Through this partnership, we not only achieve that, but we set a strong foot in one of the world’s fastest growing theme park markets with a key player in the industry,” Pekka Rantala, chief commercial officer at Rovio Entertainment said in a press release in November. “We are delighted at the prospect of bringing Angry Birds closer to our fans in China, in spaces where all members of the family can engage,” Rantala said.
He called the country a “massively important market” and claimed the “mobile games industry is growing at a very significant pace.”
The focus on China could benefit the developer, which was founded in 2003 and began making millions in revenue after the 2009 launch of the original “Angry Birds.” However, interest in the popular game series, in which players launch avian attackers at their pig enemies, has faded during the past two years, and Rovio's net profits fell 50 percent in 2013.
In November, Rovio announced that its next installment, “Angry Birds: Stella” was coming to Chinese e-commerce conglomeration Alibaba through three different apps – the Mobile Taobao online retail app; the Laiwang messaging app; and the Alipay Wallet app, an application used to make mobile payments more convenient.
“Angry Birds” was Rovio’s 52nd game. Since the success of the puzzle game, Rovio has produced a number of spinoffs, including “Angry Birds Star Wars,” “Angry Birds Seasons,” “Bad Piggies,” “Angry Birds Go!,” “Angry Birds Star Wars II” and “Angry Birds Space.”