Rovio Top 10: #1 Angry Birds Space
Angry Birds Space deserves its place amongst legends. Sometimes the right people and right vision come together with the right timing and form something magical. This property is a clear example.
First, a little story about the birth of Angry Birds Space which happened over a few tweets between NASA and Rovio which can be read about here. Thank you Bob Jacobs!
With Angry Birds Space, one of the primary objectives was to complete the transformation of Rovio from a games company into an entertainment company. To do this, Angry Birds Space would have to be the first mobile and tablet first, digital property to launch day and date with animation, books and consumer products. Ambitious.
But lets rewind a little bit first. We started off the campaign by teasing our fans and interested media via social media and a fun little website. Next, we released multiple teasing campaigns all pointing anyone who might be curious to tune in on March 8th.
On March 8th, we announced Angry Birds Space from space with the help of NASA aboard the International Space Station! Astronaut Don Pettit was just pure awesome in the video which would later win an award as the best branded physics lesson. Don made learning fun! What a start, anything seemed possible.
We continued building up the property and creating excitement and awareness by revealing characters one at a time. Additionally, we focused on smart win-win partnerships like Samsung and their flagship product the Galaxy Note. We, also, tried to expose influential audiences to the Angry Birds Space franchise too by launching the FWA award-winning website. We were clicking on all cylinders.
On March 22, 2012 - Angry Birds Space was launched. To celebrate that special day, we partnered with the Space Needle in Seattle, T-Mobile and the city of Seattle to turn this world famous icon into a giant Angry Birds Space slingshot. Against all odds & probabilities (weather, wind, engineering and permits), 1 hole (the bird was punctured during set-up), 1 baby (on the same day my wife and I were rushed to the hospital for the birth of my first born son Liam) and 4 different insurance companies - the Space Needle slingshot installation became a picture that was seen around the world.
Needless to say, Angry Birds Space broke every download record imaginable. The game reached #1 on the download chart in almost 140 countries as well as #1 in the grossing charts in nearly 100 countries. Angry Birds Space ushered in the era of the “Mobile Blockbuster" and the campaign finished #3 on Ad Age’s viral video chart for 2012.
But that was just the beginning. We treat out games as a service so there we some big updates and lots of content after the launch which included collaborations with NASA such as the Mars Curiosity Rover and Asteroids. Additionally, we included a couple amazing guest stars such as the legendary rock icon Slash and the moon walking, space hero Buzz Aldrin.
Two years on, Angry Birds Space is still very much alive and still my favorite mobile game of all-time. Its well-crafted, interesting and educational - a masterpiece.
One last note, I want to give a big thank you to my amazing and talented partner on this project - Marja Konttinen. Follow her on Twitter just because she is awesome.