Last week saw the release of the third Angry Birds game, Rio. The game is themed around a new Fox family CG film about kidnapped birds made by the Ice Age team. But Rovio has retained creative control.
“We made it clear from the beginning that we don’t want to make ‘The Rio Game’,” says Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka. “We make our game, and we call the shots, that’s fine. That’s why it’s Angry Birds Rio and not even ‘Rio: Angry Birds’.”
Fox was happy to relinquish.
“This has been a great example of a true partnership. It’s not one of those awful movie games they make and hope for the best. The game really links into the Rio story and is a real step up.”
The game was promoted during January’s Super Bowl – a marketing hit usually reserved for summer blockbusters and which most games only dream of. “The attention and buzz meant we beat all the other movies advertised during the game. Fox is very happy as a lot of people now know about Rio, but because they heard about it through us.
“It’s almost like we have our own movie – Fox is spending $100m in the US on advertising. The machinery behind us is huge and that means more people will download the game than ever. No other game has been marketed with this kind of approach before. We have big expectations for Angry Birds Rio.
“And after that you have the DVD release – we have a lot around that and there will be interesting content on the DVD. Fox has learnt a lot from the process.”
It’s good experience for Rovio before the regularly mooted Angry Birds movie and TV shows.
“Before Rio we’d been talking to all of the studios, and there were many Hollywood proposals saying they could make us famous and offering loads of money. Our take was: we may be a small team from Finland, but we’re not totally stupid. We learned a lot from this game instead.”