Just under a year ago we published an article about the unexpected success of The Angry Birds Movie and what this meant for fans of the original game. With a sequel now announced for 2019, the tenth anniversary of the launch of the first Angry Birds game, and publisher Rovio pursuing non-feathered titles, we thought it was time to review the changes of the last year.

At the time of writing in 2016, the success of The Angry Birds Movie and Rovio Entertainment were already confirmed, having dispelled any fears that the project would drop into the pitfalls that gaming cinema adaptations can fall into, from plot deviations to not maintaining the integrity of the game’s functionality in a new format. The film’s climactic battle between the birds and the pigs, featuring the all-important sling shot, kept players happy whilst the rest of the film provided backstory.

The Angry Birds characters (C) Rovio. 

The Angry Birds characters (C) Rovio. 

Angry Birds will always be synonymous with Rovio but more than making the franchise a hero product, as we wrote at the time, it became the gateway to a whole different portfolio. Earning close to $350 million in the box office, The Angry Birds Movie is the most successful Finnish film of all time. It also provided a new opportunity to branch out into commerce, in addition to reaching a new audience.

As firm believers in the close links between gaming, entertainment and lifestyle audiences, we are not surprised by the success. Just as a good gaming film relies on incorporating the feel of play into the action, so too does the ad revenue content in games need to offer the user high quality, entertaining content for the best result.

Rovio are a publisher who excel at this. This time last year their successful engagement model was based on incentivising users to engage with non-intrusive advertising at moments of in-game success, providing video in exchange for gifts and level-ups. More recently they have worked with Venatus to build on this success to also offer industry-leading in-game brand collaborations.

Of course, the other big change since 2016 is the launch of a non-Angry Birds game. For those it has escaped, Battle Bay is a nautical-themed, real time multi-player mobile game. While Battle Bay is still fairly young on the market the early reports have been favourable, with PocketGamer writing that ‘it pretty much perfects the strategic multiplayer experience on mobile gadgets.’  

In-game advertising offers have yet to be revealed but with Rovio’s affirmed reputation for adaptations, the potential of its upcoming releases looks brighter than ever.