The Korea Herald


Angry Birds fly to Facebook


Published : Feb. 15, 2012 - 15:27

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“Angry Bird,” the most-downloaded mobile app of 2011, was catapulted to the world of Facebook on Tuesday in a bid by its Finnish maker Rovio to get one billion people playing the addictive game.

True to the game’s quirky theme, a bird flung at a pig on a giant screen marked its official Facebook launch in Jakarta, the world’s most Facebook-connected city.

The company’s strategy is for the game -- which is already wildly popular as an app on many smartphones and tablet computers across multiple platforms -- to be available “on all screens and screen sizes,” Rovio Asia senior vice president Henri Holm told AFP.

Scores of fans attended the Valentine’s Day launch in Jakarta, many of them clicking photographs on their smartphones.

In the game, players fling colorful and grumpy wingless birds from a slingshot into smarmy egg-stealing pigs.

It has been downloaded more than 700 million times since its launch in 2009 and the birds have become a global phenomenon, featuring on a huge array of merchandise and in popular culture.

The number of players is likely to surpass one billion with Rovio now offering a new version of the game with more levels and interactive features to around 845 million Facebook users.

Rovio does not disclose how many Angry Birds apps have been downloaded in Indonesia. But the country’s love for the game is obvious in the ubiquitous paraphernalia in malls, from Angry Birds mobile phone covers to baby jumpsuits.

“Facebook has more that 800 million users, so we’re confident we can get one billion people playing soon,” said Holm, donning a red Angry Birds hoodie.

The new app allows players to compete with their Facebook friends for high scores, send gifts to friends and achieve more precise and powerful targeting by purchasing new “power-ups.”

Rovio has in recent months focused on growing its line of merchandise, Holm said.

On display at the launch, before an all-girl band crooning tunes, were Angry Birds pencil cases, lunch boxes, T-shirts and stuffed toys, as well as cookbooks and wristwatches.

“There are launch events in other cities, like Mumbai and Bangkok, but the official launch is in Jakarta as the Facebook capital of the world,” Holm said.

More than 17 percent of Indonesia’s 240 million people are on Facebook, and Jakarta alone has over 17 million Facebook accounts, according to Holm.

“That is more than four times the accounts in New York and almost twice the amount of the second city on the list,” the Rovio official said.

Second to Jakarta is Istanbul with 9.6 million Facebook accounts, and third is Mexico City with 9.3 million, according to social networking trackers

Indonesia as a whole has 43.1 million Facebook accounts, making it the site’s third-biggest user base after the United States with 155.7 million and India, which just surpasses Indonesia with 43.5 million users.

Rovio is not alone in recognising the market potential of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation and Southeast Asia’s largest and fastest growing major economy.

Internet giant Yahoo! set up an office in Indonesia in 2009, and popular social networking and e-commerce site Multiply says it plans to move its headquarters from Florida to Jakarta.

Rovio was a little-known company before its Angry Birds took flight.

It had previously launched 50 games with successes including mobile versions of “Burnout” and “Need For Speed.” (AFP)


<한글 기사>

앵그리버드, 페이스북용 버전 공식 출시

스마트폰 최고 인기 게임 중 하나인  '앵 그리버드(Angry Birds)'가 전 세계 8억4천500만 페이스북 사용자 공략에 나섰다.

인도네시아 언론들은 15일 앵그리버드 제작사인 핀란드 로비오사가 전날 세계에 서 페이스북 사용자가 가장 많은 도시인 자카르타에서 공식 출시행사를 열고 페이스북용 앵그리버드를 공개했다고 보도했다.

앵그리버드는 알을 훔쳐간 돼지들을 새들이 공격한다는 이야기를 바탕으로 한 게임으로 2009년 출시 후 세계에서 7억회 이상 내려받은 최고 인기 게임 중 하나다.

사용자들은 새총에 여러 가지 새를 장착해 숨어 있는 돼지를 향해 발사한다.

페이스북용 앵그리버드는 기존 버전과 게임 방식 등은 같지만 같은 네트워크에 있는 사용자들이 서로 대화하며 경쟁할 수 있도록 한 게 특징이다. 친구들과 게임 점수를 비교하고 선물도 할 수 있으며, 왕관을 차지하기 위해 서로 경쟁하는 방식도 도입됐다.

로비오 아시아의 헨리 홈 부사장은 페이스북용 앵그리버드에는 지진이나 TNT 패 키지, 파워업 아이템 등 새 기능들이 추가됐지만 가장 중요한 것은 소셜네트워크의 특징을 살려 친구들과 경쟁을 할 수 있도록 한 것이라고 말했다.

로비오사가 자카르타를 페이스북용 앵그리버드 출시 장소로 택한 것은 자카르타가 도시 단위로는 세계에서 페이스북 가입자가 가장 많기 때문이다.

인도네시아의 페이스북 계정 수는 4천310만개로 미국, 인도에 이어 세계 3위에 해당하지만, 자카르타의 페이스북 사용자는 1천700만명으로 2, 3위인 이스탄불(960만명), 멕시코시티(930만명)보다 월등히 많다. (연합뉴스)