Angry Birds Go smacks down Mario with 130 million downloads

Rovio spin-off game raises the stakes

Angry Birds Go smacks down Mario with 130 million downloads

Angry Birds has raked in over 2.3 billion downloads since launch, according to Rovio's mighty eagle Peter Vesterbacka.

Speaking on stage at Pocket Gamer Connects Bangalore, he told the crowd that there have been "130 million downloads for Angry Birds Go [since its launch in December 2013] - that's bigger than all the Mario games since 1999."

He says that that's partly due to the palacial expanse of the mobile market empire itself.

"If you look at the global picture, the Apple App Store is bigger than the Hollywood box office. That's just Apple.

"The biggest song of 2013 made as much money in two years as the biggest mobile game does in five days. Our industry is not a tiny one any more, we've grown up."

Sonic boom

Rovio has ridden this explosive growth, starting back when mobile gaming was just a twinkle in the milkman's eye back in 2003.

Branding has been particularly vital to Rovio's business plan, boasting a slew of hoodies, plushies and now even activity parks around the world.

Vesterbacka emphasised at last month's MWC that the strength of Angry Birds as a brand would be critical to Rovio's future financial success - a sentiment he echoed today saying that while the five year old company is old for gaming, it's a baby for branding.

However, its 2014 financials revealed that merchandise sales were down 43 percent - a contrast to its games revenues that were up 16 percent to $134 million.

Still while physical sales of branded toys are slowing, Vesterbacka is optimistic that the Angry Birds brand is still successful in driving downloads around the world where he claims 9/10 people are familiar with the game.

"No one believed me years ago when I said we were going to get 100 million downloads for Angry Birds, but that's because at that time we were on 2 or 3 million, and EA and others told me it was impossible for anyone but Tetris to do that.

"Just look at us now."

News Editor