Angry Birds celebrated its second birthday on December 11, and marked the occasion with an update to version 2.0 of the game. Rovio, the creator of the incredibly popular casual gaming phenomenon, has got plenty to celebrate too, boasting 500 million game downloads, the sale of 10 million toys and a company value of more than $1 billion.
Angry Birds 2.0 is available through the iTunes App Store as a free update right now, and it contains 15 special birthday-themed new levels plus all 300 existing levels have been unlocked, allowing any players stuck on a particularly cunning stage to advance unimpeded.
As it has become so much more than just another mobile game, it’s fitting that “birdday” should be commemorated elsewhere too, and sure enough several retailers will be putting on special events and promotions this week. In the USA, Toys ‘R’ Us will be offering 25 percent off their Angry Birds plush toys, while selected Barnes & Noble stores held scavenger hunts on Sunday and will offer a Red Bird cookie in their coffee shops. In the UK, Forbidden Planet will be carrying Angry Birds products previously unavailable in the country.
To round out “Birdday” here, how about some statistics? Rovio says that 266 billion levels have been played around the globe for a combined 1.825 billion hours per month, 400 billion birds have been launched from the catapult, and 44 billion stars have been earned.
Rovio isn’t slowing down either, as CEO Peter Vesterbacka told The Moscow Times, he’s now focused on making Angry Birds the first entertainment brand to have a billion fans. Measured by the company’s active Facebook users, he expects this to take another two or three years to achieve. He also confirmed there would be several new Angry Birds games in 2012.