Oink oink

23 June 2011 | This 'n' that

Naturally, here at Books from Finland, we’re keen to use the internet for serious (or not so serious) reading, but at the other end of the scale Finns are garnering considerable success in the world of smartphone games.

We don’t like to blow our collective trumpets, but it’s a little-known fact that the phone game Angry Birds, with birds and pigs in the starring roles, is actually Finnish, developed in 2009 by a company called Rovio. As the Helsinki freesheet Metro (31 May) notes, Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 200 million times on different devices since its launch in December 2009.

What is the secret of Angry Birds’ success? ‘I like it because it doesn’t really have any rules and you never know exactly what’s going to happen next,’ says our young reviewer Sophia, 9; her sister, Tia, 5, says ‘I like it because you get to shoot in it.’ To judge by the amount of time they spend playing Angry Birds, they like it a lot.

And how did Angry Birds come about? ‘At the beginning of 2009 our design group went through a number of different options,’ Rovio’s communications director Ville Heijari tells Metro. ‘One of them was angry-looking birds, and everyone fell in love with them right away.’ And what does Heijari himself like best about the game? ‘Definitely the fact that when you make a mistake, the pig laughs at you. That really makes you want to try again.’

In the pipeline is an Angry Birds movie, plus further development of the game itself. ‘So far the world has only seen an glimpse of the birds’ world,’ says Heijari.




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