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Apple Store / Apple news / The history of the "Angry Birds" series of games
17 March 2021

The history of the "Angry Birds" series of games

The history of the development of the game "Angry Birds" and its impact on the entertainment industry. How Rovio accidentally exceeded its expectations and created the most commercially successful mobile game.

Evgeny Rogozny

The origins of "Angry Birds" or a gift of fate on the verge of death ...

It was late golden autumn 2009 outside. Finances of the Finnish company Rovio sang romances, although the developers already have more than 50 small games for smartphones under their belt. They had no idea that their new project called "Angry Birds" would take off like that. It was that rare case when the crane turned out to be better than a tit in the hand. But let's not get ahead of ourselves and start from the very beginning ...

A designer named Yakko Iisalo came up with a wonderful idea for a game - crazy birds ramming the walls of buildings. Jakko made the first sketch and showed it to the head of development, Tuomo Lechtiten. He immediately liked the idea, and the team got down to work. That very first sketch featured Red - who would later become the symbol of the angry birds and one of the most recognizable playable characters - the Blue Trinity and the long-billed Chuck.

But the wise Rovio decided that the game lacked antagonists, the birds needed an opponent. The developers have approached this issue creatively, and I will look back at the world. In those days, the H1N1 pandemic was raging and the spread of this disease - the pigs - became the enemies. The authors ironically emphasized their message by painting the pigs in a sickly green color. And to somehow justify the hostility between the characters of the opposing camps, Rovio came up with a story. Pigs went to theft for the sake of fried eggs, and the birds always take revenge on them, eager to get their eggs back.

First steps to success ...

Initially, the idea was for the player to swipe the screen and throw birds at the pigs. Such control turned out to be terribly inconvenient, and then the developers added a slingshot to the game. This mechanic quickly took root, because everything ingenious is simple.

The first release of the game took place on December 10, 2009 for the Apple IOS platform in the App Store. Later it was released on Android, MeeGo Harmattan, Bada, Symbian, WebOS, OS X, Meamo 5, Microsoft Windows and Java.

The first game was called "Angry Birds Classic" and quickly gained popularity in February 2010 in the UK in the AppStore, and then in the USA, taking first place on the platform. At the top of the rating, the game lasted as much as 275 days.

But there were difficulties with the transfer to other platforms. With the version for Google Play, the platform fragmentation problem appeared. That is, it was almost impossible to create a program that would work well for all devices on the Android operating system.

Rovio's critics also received a bit of criticism from console owners; playing Angry Birds on the joystick was uncomfortable. PSP owners complained at all that the zoom did not work in the game and sometimes the birds had to be thrown somewhere. The release of the first part not only brought success to the developers, but also pointed out bugs. Of course, after such a turn of events, the continuation became a matter of time ...

Cultural phenomenon "Angry Birds" ...

The debut part of the series was followed by the next piece of the company - Angry Birds Seasons, dedicated to the holidays and seasons. Then there was a collaboration with the cartoon "Rio". Then came Magic for owners of some smartphones running rare operating systems like Symbian and MeeGo.

A little later, the developers' fantasy launched their birds into space into a game with the same postscript - "Space". In it, the birds passed through the portal and changed the structure of their DNA, turning into space birds with superpowers. But not everything is so simple, because the mean pigs again stole the eggs and fled into space.

In the same year, an exclusive for the social network "Facebook" was released with the postscript "Friends". In it, users could play with friends together or compete with each other.

This was followed by two games based on "Star Wars" with the same names. The plot of the first game in its own manner repeated the narrative of the original trilogy, but the second - the plot of the sequels to "Star Wars"

With an initial investment of one hundred thousand euros, the "angry birds" have already paid for themselves many times. It was already 2015, and there were a couple of months left before the release of the next numbered part. Looking ahead to the future, we can conclude that the company's previous experience before the "second birds" was only a cornerstone ...


Rovio did not limit themselves to just one arcade and tried themselves in different genres. They started with "Go!" - it was a toy in the genre of racing, outwardly reminiscent of a rare racing arcade on the PlayStation 1 - "Crash Team Racing", then a turn-based strategy, a third-person shooter and even an RPG! But that was not the end: Rovio released a spin-off - "Angry Birds Bad Piggeis", where pigs are already the protagonists. The main character - Ross, helps the King of Pigs to cook fried eggs. In the game you need to build ingenious structures and methods of movement in pursuit of the coveted eggs.

But the imagination of the developers was not limited to this either. There were games in the genre of "3 in a row" - these are the very balls in which people in subway cars so often stick. And finally, a step towards new technologies - the VR version. So "Angry Birds" became not only multiplatform, but also straddled all kinds of genres and visited virtual reality glasses. However, all this was only on the screens, it was all just toys, but what in the real world? ..

And hundreds of thematic stores with clothes, toys and even books have already been opened in it. Amusement rides were built, stamps with the logo of birds were produced, and the world famous Red was more and more often flashed at Disneyland. In the future, under the leadership of Rovio, they will also shoot two full-length cartoons based on the universe of their work.

At the peak of its popularity, "Angry Birds" could be seen on the screens of almost any smartphone. It's hard to find someone who hasn't even heard of this franchise. This is how Rovio proved by their example: sometimes you need to measure not seven, but fifty-one times, but when you cut it off once, it won't seem like a little. But once Finnish developers wandered in the shadows of larger game companies, and now it is hard to believe that their angry birds will ever fly away to warmer lands ...


Summing up ...

The story of how Rovio created Angry Birds is reminiscent of the plot of a motivational movie. They tried, fought like fish on ice, but escaped from rags to riches. But it all started with a fleeting image in the head of a designer named Yakko Iisalo. If he had known then how he would affect the gaming industry, he would never have believed it. Stories like these suggest that real magic is not witchcraft and tricks, but our dreams and perseverance.

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