Angry Birds zero in on TV

Rovio creating animated clips

HELSINKI — Two years after the launch of vidgame app Angry Birds, and 400 million mobile downloads later, Rovio is creating storylines to take the avian chums to the next level.

With an eye toward TV and other platforms, the Finnish mobile-phone games company that developed the phenomenally successful creatures two years ago is creating a series of 52 two-minute animated clips.

Under the direction of creative director Lauri Konttori, the creative team behind Angry Birds is designing an entire universe, environment, rules of behavior and engagement. The clips will be animated inhouse at Rovio.

Ville Heijari, Rovio’s VP of franchise development, says the company is targeting fans of the game across the platforms they’re likely to use. “We’re thinking of comicstrips, animated shorts, television,” he says.

Angry Birds has generated some $70 million to $100 million in revenue.

While the smallscreen is in the company’s crosshairs, bigscreen dreams will require a longer-term plan of attack.

The company has hired David Maisel, former chair of Marvel Studios, as a strategic adviser on developing a movie, and is in talks with possible partners. “It’s a big undertaking and we definitely see it as a challenge, but our ambitions go beyond box office,” Heijari says. “We want to create a long-lasting franchise, not just a film.”

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