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Rovio’s Angry Birds’ Entertainment Empire

Posted on Monday, Oct 14th 2013

According to a market report by DFC Intelligence, Online Game Market Forecasts, worldwide revenue from online games is projected to grow to $35 billion in 2017 from $19 billion in 2011. The increasing adoption of mobile devices and smartphones is driving the growth within the online gaming industry. But Angry Birds’ maker, Rovio, is moving beyond pure games to all things entertainment.

Rovio’s Valuation

Rovio’s latest quarter financials are not known. The latest financials disclosed reveal annual revenue of $194.8 million in 2012, with $71 million in profits. At the end of last year, the company had more than 263 million users worldwide. It is expected to earn $365 million in revenues this year.

Rovio’s Entertainment Empire

Other games makers such as King.com and Supercell have had a slew of hits recently. King’s “Candy Crush” has been among the leading games being played on social sites such as Facebook and on mobile devices. But the success of these games has not dampened Rovio’s ability to deliver leading game titles. Last month, Rovio released “Angry Birds Star Wars 2″, the seventh version of its Angry Birds series. The game was developed through a tie-up with LucasArts and was released was released for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 OS worldwide. Soon after release, the game became the leading paid app on Apple in the US, the UK, Sweden, and Spain.

As part of growth plans beyond games, Rovio continued to expand its merchandize offerings for Angry Birds with the launch of the game. It partnered with Hasbro Inc. to develop toys that can be scanned using smartphones and tablets to upload characters to the digital game.

Overall, Rovio’s franchise operations are doing well. Last year, 45% of its revenues came from gaming franchises. It has licensed more than 500 partners to use Angry Birds on more than 30,000 products including grocery items ranging from stationery to grocery items and tools.

As part of Rovio’s plans to become the “entertainment company of the millennium” company, it is now making a movie on Angry Birds. The movie is expected to be released on the Independence Day weekend of 2016. It is expected to be a 3-D animated feature film, and will be produced by John Cohen and Catherine Winder and executive produced by David Maisel, with the screenplay by “The Simpsons” writer, Jon Vitti.

Earlier this year, the company released the first season of “Angry Birds Toons”, an animated TV series that is being aired on Rovio’s online entertainment channel, Toon TV. The series has received positive reviews and recorded more than one billion views. However, it is not preparing for a second season release. To grow ToonsTV, Rovio has also partnered with Hasbro and Stan Lee to expand available content. In addition, it tied up with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to release “Angry Birds Toons” on Blu-ray and DVD.

After announcing earlier this year that it was not interested in an IPO soon, Rovio hired a fourth director to the board, Mika Ihamuotila, and a COO, Nokia alumnus Teemu Suila, spurring rumors that the company may be evaluating an IPO. Rovio hasn’t commented on the speculation.

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