Growth, How I did it, Local

Angry Birds sets sights on $1.3bn valuation

Michelle Hammond /

The maker of mobile phone game Angry Birds is in talks with a major entertainment company about an investment that would propel its worth to $1.3 billion, according to reports.

 

Angry Birds is a puzzle video game developed by Finnish company Rovio Mobile at a cost of $157,000.

 

Inspired by a sketch of stylised wingless birds, the game was initially released for Apple’s iOS platform in late 2009.

 

Since then, more than 12 million copies of the game have been purchased from the App Store, prompting the company to design various versions for other smartphones.

 

In the game, players use a slingshot to launch birds at pigs stationed on or within various structures, with the intent of destroying all the pigs on the playfield.

 

As players advance through the game, new birds appear, some of which have special abilities. Rovio has supported Angry Birds with numerous free updates that add additional game content.

 

Angry Birds has been praised for its successful combination of addictive gameplay, comical style and low price.

 

With a combined 300 million downloads across all platforms, the game has been described as “the largest mobile app success the world has seen so far”.

 

Its popularity has resulted in different versions being created for personal computers and gaming consoles, and merchandise featuring its colourful characters.

 

The company has also been exploring the prospect of a film as it expands outside the gaming sector. Rovio recently appointed David Maisel, former chairman of Marvel Studios, to pursue its ambitions in Hollywood.

 

It’s since been reported Rovio is in talks with a major entertainment company about an investment that would propel its worth to $1.3 billion.

 

According to Bloomberg, rumoured bidders include Disney, Zynga and Electronic Arts.

 

Earlier this week, Angry Birds was launched on Google’s social networking platform Google+, along with other well-known titles including Bejeweled Blitz, Zynga Poker and Crime City.

 

Rovio chief executive Mikael Hed has indicated Google+ is just the tip of the iceberg with regard to Angry Birds’ expansion, suggesting a Hollywood deal is indeed on the cards.

 

“Angry Birds for Google+ Games is a great start but it’s just our first step in social gaming,” Hed wrote in a company blog.

 

“We want to delight our users by going way beyond what they were expecting. Social gaming is going to be massive and we’re very excited about what we have coming up next.”

 

As Rovio gears itself up for its next phase of growth, it’s been reported cloud-based file-synching service Dropbox could be valued by more than $5 billion.

 

Last month, it was revealed the San Francisco-based start-up was looking to raise $200-300 million dollars, which would value the company at around $5 billion.

 

It’s believed the company has now chosen which investors will lead and participate in the round, with the final valuation thought to be less than $6 billion, although it is still unclear which investors are involved.

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