In early 2009, Finnish mobile game company Rovio decided to develop a game around an employee’s sketch of an abstract, wingless, and agitated bird. Two years and 350 million downloads later, Angry Birds is a bona fide global phenomenon that has grown beyond its original iPhone incarnation to include versions for Android phones, Google Chrome, and Nintendo Wii. Everyone knows that the Black Bird is a lifesaver and that the Green Bird is worthless, but here are ten things you might not know about Angry Birds.
1. The choice of Green Pigs for the birds’ enemy was based on the swine-flu epidemic that dominated the news around the time of the game’s development.
Original concept art for Green Pig.
2. Angry Birds has fans in high places. UK Prime Minister David Cameron and former vice president Dick Cheney are reportedly fans of the game.
3. Before the success of Angry Birds, Rovio developed about 50 games including titles such as “Darkest Fear
2: Grim Oak” and “Paid to Kill.”
4. After the runaway success of the game, Head of Business Development at Rovio declared Angry Birds to be “Bigger than Mickey Mouse”.
5. There is reportedly an animated Angry Birds film in the works. It is unclear who will provide the voice of the Red Bird.
6. The Birds have shown surprising depth. Popular Israeli sketch show “Eretz Nehederet” used the game to satirize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hare Krishna guru Giridhari Dasa developed an Angry Birds yoga regimen in which the Green Pigs symbolize our self-defeating attitudes.
7. Angry Birds has seen its fair share of cheap imitators. Angry Birds knock-offs include titles such as “Angry Farm” and “Fish Revolt.” There’s also the truly bizarre “WWE Superstars Sling Shot” where you fling various wrestling “superstars” at one another.
Logo for "Fish Revolt".
8. A theme park in China opened an unofficial real life Angry Birds game where visitors use a giant slingshot to fling plush versions of the birds at bizarre wooden structures. Despite Angry Birds’ Finnish origin, the game is apparently located in the middle of “America Zone,” right next to a miniature Mount Rushmore.
9. Despite seemingly encouraging violence against birds and pigs, Angry Birds has yet to come under attack from animal advocacy groups - quite the opposite. Recently, Rovio teamed up with conservationist group Birdlife International for a campaign to promote awareness for endangered bird species.
10. Rovio’s Chief Marketing Officer, Peter Vesterbacka, is nicknamed “The Mighty Eagle.” VP of Franchise Development, Ville Heijari, is known as “The Bird Whisperer.”
Angry Birds Halloween costumes.
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