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Angry Birds

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Angry Birds
Angry Birds logo 2015.svg
The official Angry Birds wordmark, used since July 2015
Created by Rovio Entertainment
Original work Video game series
Print publications
Book(s)
Comics
  • Angry Birds Comics
  • Super Angry Birds
Films and television
Film(s)
Animated series
Games
Video game(s)

Angry Birds Series

Spin-offs

Compilations

Audio
Original music
  • Angry Birds Rio Samba Tune
  • Angry Birds Space Theme (feat. Slash)
  • Bad Piggies Halloween Tune (feat. Major Lazer)
Miscellaneous
Toys
  • Plush Toys
  • Board Games
  • Telepods
Beverages
  • Angry Birds Soft Drinks
Parks and Attractions
Official Website angrybirds.com

Angry Birds is a video game franchise created by Finnish company Rovio Entertainment. The series focuses on multi-colored birds who try to save their eggs from green-colored pigs. Inspired by Crush the Castle,[2] the game has been praised for its successful combination of fun gameplay, comical style, and low price. Its popularity led to many spin-offs, versions of Angry Birds being created for PCs and gaming consoles, a market for merchandise featuring its characters, a televised cartoon series, and a feature film. In January 2014 there had been over two billion downloads across all platforms, including both regular and special editions:[3][4] as of July 2015, the series’ games have been downloaded more than three billion times collectively,[5] making it the most downloaded freemium game series of all time. The original Angry Birds has been called "one of the most mainstream games out right now",[6] "one of the great runaway hits of 2010",[7] and "the largest mobile app success the world has seen so far".[8] An animated feature film based on the series was released by Columbia Pictures on 20 May 2016, and the first main-series sequel, Angry Birds 2, was released on 30 July 2015.

The first game in the series was initially released in December 2009 for Apple iOS.[9] The company then released ports of the game for other touchscreen smartphone operating systems, including Android, Symbian, and Windows Phone, then video game consoles and PCs.

Video games[edit]

Year Game Genre Description
December 2009 Angry Birds Puzzle The first game released of the series. It primarily involves shooting birds into pigs' fortresses.[10]
October 2010 Angry Birds Seasons The second game in the series, featuring holiday-themed levels. It was also originally released as Angry Birds Halloween.
March 2011 Angry Birds Rio The third game in the series, tying in with the films Rio and Rio 2.[11]
February 2012 Angry Birds Friends The fourth game of the series features weekly tournaments and is also available on Facebook.
March 2012 Angry Birds Space The fifth game in the series that features space physics.[12][13]
November 2012 Angry Birds Star Wars The sixth game that ties in with the original Star Wars trilogy (Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983)).
September 2013 Angry Birds Star Wars II The seventh game of the series that ties in with the Star Wars prequel trilogy (The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002), and Revenge of the Sith (2005)) and the television show Star Wars Rebels. It is the first game compatible with Hasbro's Telepods, that allows the player to summon a specific character in the game.
December 2013 Angry Birds Go! Racing The eighth game of the series and it is the first to branch off from the puzzle genre to the racing genre.
June 2014 Angry Birds Epic Role-playing The ninth game of the series that features turn-based RPG combat and a gear and item crafting system.
October 2014 Angry Birds Transformers Side-scrolling shooter The tenth game of the series, which ties-in with the Transformers franchise, is a shoot 'em up game.[14]
June 2015 Angry Birds Fight! Tile-matching, Role-playing The 11th game of the series, which is a match-3 game to match birds to have enough power to defeat the enemy and features a gear system that can be upgraded.[15]
July 2015 Angry Birds 2 Puzzle This is the sequel to Angry Birds and the 12th game of the series that features the player picking the birds to launch into the pigs' fortresses in multistage levels.[16][17]
April 2016 Angry Birds Action! Puzzle, Pinball This is the 13th game of the series that features a top-down perspective in pinball-type levels, and the first game to feature the birds in their The Angry Birds Movie appearances.[18]
December 2016 Angry Birds Blast! Tile-matching This is the 14th game of the series that features match-3 gameplay that has the player popping balloons to free the Angry Birds.[19]
June 2017 Angry Birds Evolution Role-playing The 15th game of the series, which is a turn-based RPG battle game that is played similar to Angry Birds Action!, with a large all-new cast of fully limbed characters that are similar in appearance to the characters of The Angry Birds Movie.[20]

Spin-offs[edit]

Year Game Genre Description
September 2012 Bad Piggies Puzzle Players must build vehicles to bring the pigs to their destinations.[21]
September 2014 Angry Birds Stella Reuses the original physics-puzzle game play of Angry Birds, but with a cast of new birds.[22]
March 2015 Angry Birds POP! Tile-matching It was the second game in the Stella series originally titled Angry Birds Stella POP!, where players must match bubbles to pop them and eventually must complete given objectives.[23] In July 2015, the "Stella" name was removed from the title so it was renamed to Angry Birds POP!.

Compilations[edit]

Year Game Genre Description
2012 Angry Birds Trilogy Puzzle A compilation of the first three Angry Birds games (the original, Seasons and Rio) for video game consoles.[24]

Cancelled[edit]

The following games were soft-launched in select countries in 2016, but for each of them, Rovio decided not to move forward with a final, worldwide release:

  • Angry Birds Football, an association football game involving birds as they appear in The Angry Birds Movie[25]
  • Angry Birds Ace Fighter, a top-down scrolling shoot 'em up game[26]
  • Angry Birds Holiday, an endless business management simulator involving most Angry Birds characters as they appear in The Angry Birds Movie, who run vacation resort services for incoming pigs to distract them from the eggs

Media[edit]

The original Angry Birds wordmark, used on the original video game from December 2009 to April 2010
The Angry Birds wordmark, used on video games, merchandise and television shows from April 2010 to present

Rovio is investigating ways to expand the Angry Birds brand, including merchandise, television shows and movies. Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Mobile, has envisioned a feature film in the stop-motion animation style of Aardman Animation.[27] To that end, Rovio has purchased a Helsinki-based animation studio to prepare Angry Birds short cartoons on the Nicktoons station's Nickelodeon Extra,[28] the first of which was a Christmas special named "Wreck the Halls" that debuted in December 2011.[29] Hed acknowledges that such a film would be years away, and that Rovio must keep the characters relevant until then, by producing sequels or new ports of the original game.[27]

Television adaptation[edit]

Angry Birds Toons, a TV series based on the game, made its debut on 16 March 2013. Toons is released through third-party video distribution platforms, including Comcast's Xfinity On-Demand in the US, Samsung Smart TVs, and Roku set-top boxes. It is also available in a number of countries on traditional television broadcasts. Angry Birds Toons is available on mobile devices by an additional Toons channel on all of the Angry Birds apps homescreens.[3] DVD version for the TV series was released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The series has a total of 3 seasons.

On 11 April 2014, Rovio released "Piggy Tales", a stop motion animated series. It tells the stories of the Minion Pigs' life.

On 1 November 2014, Rovio released "Angry Birds Stella", a 2D/3D animated series, telling the stories of Stella's life and that of her friends on their own island.

Real Angry Birds, inspired by the game Angry Birds, premiered on Nat Geo Wild on 12 July 2015.

Film adaptation[edit]

A 3D computer-animated film adaptation, The Angry Birds Movie, was released on 20 May 2016.[30] Developed, produced and financed by Rovio Entertainment,[30] it is animated by Sony Pictures Imageworks[31] and distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Entertainment under their Columbia Pictures banner.[30] It is directed by animation veterans Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly in their directorial debut.[32] Jon Vitti wrote the film's screenplay,[33] and John Cohen[34] and Catherine Winder[33] served as the producers.[32] Rovio also hired David Maisel, former executive producer of Marvel Studios films such as Iron Man, to be the executive producer of its feature-length films.[34] A sequel is scheduled to be released on September 20, 2019.[35][36]

Merchandise[edit]

Toys adaptation[edit]

There have been several toys made from Angry Birds characters.[27] The game's official website offers plush versions of the birds and pigs for sale, along with T-shirts featuring the game's logo and characters.[37] In May 2011, Mattel released an Angry Birds board game, entitled "Angry Birds: Knock on Wood".[38] Over 10 million Angry Birds toys have been sold thus far.[28] Rovio opened the first official Angry Birds retail store in Helsinki on 11 November 2011 at 11:11am local time.[39] It expects to open its next retail store somewhere in China, considered the game's fastest-growing market.[39] Merchandise has been successful, with 45% of Rovio's revenues in 2012 coming from branded merchandise.[40]

The most notable toys are the Telepods, created by Hasbro. These figures are created for Angry Birds Star Wars II,[41] Angry Birds Go!, Angry Birds Stella, and Angry Birds Transformers.[42] Telepods use a similar digital toy hybrid concept as Skylanders or Disney Infinity characters, but there is a different technology behind it[43]. These are figures used to "teleport" a character of the corresponding figure into the game by scanning a tiny QR code via the device's camera. The Telepod platform technology was invented by ReToy, a bMuse company, in partnership with Hasbro.[44] Telepods figures are not only for this use, but can also be used with the toy set that comes with the toy, like other Angry Birds board games.

One of the 2012 New Models for Hot Wheels cars from Mattel is based on the Red, Blue, and Yellow Birds from Angry Birds. The package card bears both the Hot Wheels and Angry Birds logo.

In 2016, Lego released six sets based on The Angry Birds Movie.[45]

Print publications adaptation[edit]

On 2011, Rovio published a cookbook titled "Bad Piggies: Egg Recipes", along with doodle books based on some characters of the game. After a few weeks of the release of Angry Birds Space, they also released Angry Birds Space books about numbers, alphabets, and stickers.

On 20 March 2012, National Geographic published a paperback book titled Angry Birds Space: A Furious Flight Into The Final Frontier[46][47] shortly before the release of Angry Birds Space which became available on 22 March 2012. National Geographic also has a book titled Angry Birds Feathered Fun for learning all about birds.[48]

In the same year, Rovio created a contest with the prize Angry Birds: Hatching a Universe, a book about the franchise and all the characters.

As of 10 March 2014, IDW Publishing announced[49] that they will be publishing Angry Birds Comics starting in June 2014, with Paul Tobin being the writer.[50]

Food products adaptation[edit]

In early 2012, Olvi started to manufacture Angry Birds soft drinks, after licensing with Rovio[51] with two different tastes: Tropic (tropical fruits)[51] and Paradise (pineapple-mandarin).[51] In September 2012 Olvi released two new tastes to the soft drink collection: Lagoon (pear-apple) and Space Comet (orange-cola).[52][53]

Parks and attractions[edit]

Angry Birds Land adaptation[edit]

The game's characters have been used, officially or otherwise, in amusement park attractions. In September 2011, the Window of the World theme park in Changsha, China opened an unlicensed Angry Birds attraction.[54] Visitors to the park uses a large slingshot to launch stuffed versions of the bird characters at green balloons that represent the pigs.[54]

Angry Birds Land in Särkänniemi, Finland.

Upon learning of the attraction, Rovio Entertainment reported to be considering working with the theme park to officially license it.[39] In March 2012, Rovio announced plans for an official Angry Birds Land, that opened in 28 April 2012, at the Särkänniemi adventure park in Finland.[55] Angry Birds Land opened in May 2014 at Johor Bahru City Centre in Malaysia.[56]

Most recently it was announced that UK theme park Thorpe Park would open their own Angry Birds Land themed area within the park in May 2014. The new area consists of the reinstatement of the 4D Cinema with a 10-minute-long Angry Birds film with 4D effects, a new addition of themed Angry Birds Dodgems and a slight re-theme of existing drop tower ride Detonator.

Angry Birds Activity Park adaptation[edit]

Rovio also opened "Activity Parks" of the game. The first one was opened in Lightwater Valley[57] that features dancefloors, and playgrounds that includes slides, and massive touchscreen devices for visitors to play Angry Birds. They also have Angry Birds Space attractions as part of the activity park, with a mini movie theater. They also include shops for Angry Birds merchandise and Birthday party rooms. The attraction also opened in Vuokatti and holiday clubs. Vuokatti features obstacle courses and races,[58] and a separate "Angry Birds Town" with cars for kids to ride.

Angry Birds Space Encounter adaptation[edit]

On June 2013, Rovio and NASA opened an Angry Birds Space-themed park at the Kennedy Space Center titled "Angry Birds Space Encounter".[59] It features various experiences to the Angry Birds Space video game, such as creating characters and shooting birds at pigs. The attraction was also opened in the Space Center Houston.

Global impact[edit]

Television[edit]

The Angry Birds characters have been referenced in television programs throughout the world. The Israeli comedy show Eretz Nehederet (in English: a Wonderful Country), one of the nation's most popular TV programs, satirized recent failed Israeli-Palestinian peace attempts by featuring the Angry Birds in peace negotiations with the pigs. Clips of the segment went viral, getting viewers from all around the world. The sketch received favorable coverage from a variety of independent blogs such as digitaltrends.com,[6] hotair.com[60] and intomobile.com,[61] as well as from online news media agencies such as Haaretz,[62] The Christian Science Monitor,[7] The Guardian,[63] and MSNBC.[64] American television hosts Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart and Daniel Tosh have referenced the game in comedy sketches on their respective series, Conan, The Daily Show, and Tosh.0.[65][66][67] In the 30 Rock episode "Plan B", guest star Aaron Sorkin laments to Liz Lemon, "Our craft is dying while people are playing Angry Birds and poking each other on Facebook". He then provides a tip for Liz to improve her score in the game.[citation needed] In February 2011, American journalist Jake Tapper mockingly introduced U.S. Senator Chris Coons as the "Angry Birds champion of the Senate" during the National Press Club's annual dinner.[68] Some of the game's more notable fans include Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, who plays the iPad version of the game, and author Salman Rushdie, who claims he is "something of a master at Angry Birds".[69] Basketball star Kevin Durant is an avid fan of Angry Birds, and regularly plays other NBA stars in matches, although he is weary of cheating.[70] In August 2011, the Milwaukee Brewers played the Angry Birds theme song during the pre-game introductions of the arch-rival St. Louis Cardinals players, in reference to former Cardinals' manager Tony LaRussa's propensity to bean opposing players.[citation needed] Angry Birds also appears briefly, for comic relief, during a scene in the 2013 film G.I. Joe: Retaliation, in which Zartan plays the game while waiting for the world leaders' response to his threats of annihilation.[citation needed] Angry Birds were featured in the 2013 Helsinki episode of Veep.[citation needed] Angry Birds was referenced in the film The Starving Games, a parody of The Hunger Games.[citation needed] A group in the Indian show Dance+ have done a dance based on Angry Birds.[citation needed]. Angry Birds was referenced in the Family Guy episode Turban Cowboy when after failed sky diving attempt by Peter results in him landing in a level.

A screenshot from the T-Mobile advertisement. The advertisement was shown in Spain by Cosmote.

Advertisements[edit]

Angry Birds and its characters have been featured in advertisements for other products. In March 2011, the characters began appearing in a series of advertisements for Microsoft's Bing search engine.[71] At the 2011 South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, Nokia used scrims on a downtown building to project an advertisement for its new N8 handset that included the game's characters.[72] A June 2011 T-Mobile advertisement filmed in Barcelona, Spain included a real-life mock-up of the game in a city plaza,[73] while Nokia used the game in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to promote an attempt to set a world record for the largest number of people playing a single mobile game.[74] Finnair has also used Angry Birds in their advertising, including taping an Airbus A340 airliner with the Angry Birds figures and holding an Angry Birds tournament on board a flight to Singapore.[75] Rovio has also prepared a number of web-based promotional variants of Angry Birds themed around creations of other companies, such as Finnish snack company Fazer,[76] Spanish pizza delivery chain Telepizza,[77] and Japanese television network Fuji TV,[78] as well as promotions of American brands including Cheetos,[79] Wonderful Pistachios[80] and Coca-Cola.[81] On November 2013, Indian brand Parle started a marketing campaign in which a trading card is included in each packet of Parle's Wafers and it included a related contest to win Angry Birds merchandise.[82] In February 2016, Cadbury India had Angry Birds small figurines or tattoos in Cadbury Gems packs or Surprise balls.[83] In June 2016, Kurkure India started an offer to win daily themed prizes and a trip to Angry Birds Activity Park in Malaysia.[84]

Hockey VM mascot

Sports[edit]

Kovalainen wearing an Angry Birds-themed helmet at the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Finnish Formula One driver Heikki Kovalainen used an Angry Birds-themed helmet in the 2012 season, following a sponsorship deal with Rovio. Angry Birds also sponsored the Lotus F1 Team that year, with its logo on the top of each Lotus Renault F1 car's nosecone. As part of the deal, Fellow Finn Kimi Räikkönen ran an Angry Birds 'Space' logo on his branded caps.[85]

Hockey Bird, an angry hockey playing bird, was the official mascot of the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. It was designed by Toni Kysenius and Rovio Entertainment.[86]

Video games[edit]

The game's popularity has spawned knock-off and parody games that utilize the same basic mechanics as Angry Birds. For example, Angry Turds features monkeys hurling feces and other objects at hunters who have stolen their babies.[87] Another game, entitled Chicks'n'Vixens and released in beta form on Windows Phone devices, replaces the birds and pigs with chickens and foxes, respectively.[88] The developer of Chicks'n'Vixens intended the game as a challenge to Rovio Mobile, which stated at the time that a Windows Phone port of Angry Birds would not be ready until later in 2011. [88] The Angry Birds theme song (Balkan Blast Remix) and its characters appear in Just Dance 2016.[89]

Religion[edit]

Angry Birds has inspired works of religious analogy. A five-part essay entitled "Angry Birds Yoga – How to Eliminate the Green Pigs in Your Life" was written by Giridhari Dasa of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness of Brazil, utilizing the characters and gameplay mechanics to explain various concepts of yoga in Gaudiya Vaishnavism as understood and interpreted by the Hare Krishna.[90][91][92][93][94] The piece attracted much media attention, in Brazil and abroad, for its unique method of philosophico-religious presentation.[95][96][97][98] The piece was also recognized and appreciated by Rovio Mobile's Peter Vesterbacka, who was prompted to comment on Twitter, "Very cool! I can see Angry Birds Yoga becoming a worldwide craze;-)".[90]

Controversy[edit]

Leaking user data[edit]

In January 2014, it was revealed that Angry Birds was considered a "leaky app" and was used to collect data about its users including their sexual orientation and location by the NSA and GCHQ. In retaliation, anti-NSA hackers defaced Rovio's website. Claims were made by Edward Snowden that the app was leaky and that they were capable of siphoning off data.[99]

According to The Register, the information was leaked through the in-game advertisement code like that embedded by Millennial Media: "Millennial's tracking software generates a personal record for each user that can store information from their political affiliation and sexual orientation to whether their marital state was single, married, divorced, engaged or 'swinger'. This information is used to target in-app ads more effectively, and can be collected by UK and US intelligence agencies for analysis".[100] In a statement to the press, Rovio denied that they were themselves providing any information to the intelligence agencies, but did not exclude the possibility that their advertisers might do so.[101]

Following this revelation, on 29 January, the Angry Birds site was defaced by hackers who replaced it with "Spying Birds" via a DNS hijacking attack. According to Rovio, "The defacement was caught in minutes and corrected immediately".[101] The Syrian Electronic Army tweeted after the incident that the attack had been carried out by "a friend" of theirs.[102]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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