Angry Birds is making for some very happy investors.
It might be that annoying game that people played on the train to you, but to Rovio Entertainment, it’s an empire worth a billion dollars. The Angry Birds empire, which includes not only video games but also films and merchandise, received a valuation of $1 billion on Friday as the Finnish entertainment company prepared to go public.
It’s somewhat impressive given how the company resisted the “freemium” model for so long with the iconic smartphone game. Eventually as popularity in the game evened out and competitors caught up, they shifted to the free download platform and its paid dividends.
While the Angry Birds movie invested way more money in its marketing campaign than in making itself visually appealing, it still grossed $349.8 million on a $73 million budget (not counting another $100 million on marketing) and begat an incoming sequel. The ability to also churn out tie-in games and merchandise makes the entire franchise a worthwhile investment.
To say nothing of the brand’s recent Everton jersey sponsorship, which is going over…not well.
The sequel is currently planned for September 20, 2019, which would be the tenth anniversary of the original video game premiere. By then, who knows how many other ways Angry Birds will have dominated our lives. They certainly have the money to do it now.