Angry Birds is becoming a crazy bird. Currently, Finnish company Rovio, the mobile application gaming sensation that created Angry Birds, disclosed that they are setting up a Chinese team to open its first store in China.
So far, the wildly successful mobile game app Angry Birds is still the App Store’s number two bestseller, with downloads top 200 million across all available platforms. Since Rovio started selling Angry Birds derivative products online late last year, the company has already sold 3 million Angry Birds stuffed toys and a million t-shirts. The sales of various types of Angry Birds merchandise have exceeded more than 50 million British pounds, which the company’s founder “Mighty Eagle” Peter Vesterbacka refers to as the “Disney strategy”.
The Angry Birds characters have gotten that kind of attention in the world’s biggest market China as well. In China, “Angry birds” mobile phone sets, cusions, mobile phone protection film, T-shirts and other derivative products have been extremely popular on Taobao. Quoted from Peter Vesterbacka at the Open Mobile Summit in London, “If you walk into a store (in China), you see copies of Disney, Hello Kitty and Angry Birds. It’s amazing. We’d rather sell officially licensed stuff in China, but on the other hand, if nobody copied us, nobody cares.” He said proudly, “next year, our ambition is to be the brand that copied by most entities in China. That would mean we’re the top entertainment brand in China.”
Currently, Rovio is setting up an office with around 10 staffs in the team in China to develop its businesses here of games, stores, and business cooperation.The first store will be launched this year, with wider range of different merchandise products such as clothing, and stationary, etc. According to Rovio China head, it is expected that u pto 200 Angry Birds stores will be spread in China within the next three years.
It’s all part of a master plan to evolve Rovio beyond its gaming roots on its way to becoming a well-known entertainment brand.