‘Angry Birds’ Earned $100 Million Last Year

That annoyingly addictive game on your phone is worth some money apparently:

“Angry Birds” started in December 2009 as a silly mobile-phone game that involves sling-shotting cartoon birds at smirking pigs. Now it’s a $100 million-a-year business..

Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish game developer behind the “Angry Birds” franchise, said today its revenue totaled EUR75.4 ($98.7 million) last year.

That revenue didn’t come solely from the game downloaded 648 million times last year. About 30% stemmed from merchandising and licensing. Last year Rovio began turning “Angry Birds” into an entertainment franchise, pushing into movies, books, toys and even “gummy” candy.

In March this year, Rovio launched the fourth installment of the Angry Birds franchise, where the birds and their arch enemies, the pigs, moved into space. The game became the world’s fastest-growing mobile game, hitting 50 million downloads within 35 days of its launch.

Rovio didn’t provide any comparable financial figures for 2010, but said its staff headcount grew to 224 during 2011, from 28 in 2010. The company recently announced plans to expand into Sweden by opening a games studio in Stockholm.

I’m not sure where the money is coming from given that, at least on my Droid, the downloads are free.

FILED UNDER: Economics and Business, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Hey Norm says:

    So much for a struggling economy. Maybe you are watching the wrong indicators.

  2. There are free versions of the games and there are relatively inexpensive paid versions that have more levels. I will confess to have paid for the full version of, for example, Angry Birds in Space and for the expansion pack.

  3. WR says:

    You may not have noticed — and good for you if you didn’t — but the free Droid version of AB has ads…

  4. I’m not sure where the money is coming from given that, at least on my Droid, the downloads are free.

    For one, they use banner advertisements, which bring in a source of income. Secondly, even the $.99 downloads have further downloads (there’s a cheat, I think it’s called the Eagle Eye) that brings in some revenue. But even beyond that, 30% of the company’s entire revenue source is based around licensing, or the fact that you can’t walk five feet without seeing those birds.

    The advertising is key because that’s something that can’t be broken simply by pirating the game. I don’t even know if there’s a paid version of Angry Birds Space available on the Android market (where piracy is absolutely rampant).

  5. @WR:

    Yea I am aware of the ads but I can’t say they register with me when I have played the game(s). I’d be interested to know how much they are actually able to charge for them.

  6. So, 100M of enhanced GDP is good, but the jobs associated are probably somewhat lower, say, than 100M of miniature golf.

    If we cut taxes will angry bird programmers hire more ancillary staff?

  7. James in LA says:

    @Hey Norm: “So much for a struggling economy. Maybe you are watching the wrong indicators.”

    Yes, the Rapture Goggles we’ve been forced to wear since 9/11 do not seem to be terribly accurate.

  8. LC says:

    There are now video ads, on the Fire at least, which stop play and are very, very, very annoying. 99 cents is a bargain of major proportions to get rid of them and doesn’t begin to approach the value of so many hours, days, weeks of frustration, um, joy….

    And, yes, of course I’m addicted but I don’t drive and play at the same time.