Angry Birds lovers may get their dream date on Valentine's Day, when the lovable video game characters slingshot their way to social networking giant Facebook.
Tech news site Penn-Olson.com reported Thursday (Manila time) Rovio, the maker of the hit game, is planning a big launch in Jakarta on Feb. 14.
"Speaking exclusively to Penn Olson today in Jakarta, Peter Vesterbacka, the ‘Mighty Eagle’ of Rovio, and Henri Holm, the SVP of Rovio Asia, shared the company’s plan to release Angry Birds to more than 800 million people on Facebook. And what’s more, the company is planning its big launch to be held in Jakarta on February 14th. Why Jakarta? Well it’s obvious, Peter says, as Jakarta is the global capital of Facebook. Holding the launch here would be appropriate as it is a major Facebook hub," it said
Angry Birds slingshot its way to success shortly after its release in 2009, and Rovio has since been busy building the brand.
Penn-Olson said the game has had more than 700 million downloads and may have more than one billion this year.
The success of "Angry Birds" is triggering Rovio's evolution into an entertainment company that will make comics, animations, and even plush toys.
Rovio has also worked with Samsung so Angry Birds will be pre-installed on every new Smart TV and the 2010 and 2011 versions of the TV sets will get an update that will install Angry Birds, Penn-Olson reported.
"Not only that, they are bringing the Angry Birds experience to the next billion by reaching the feature phone market (working together with Nokia on its Asha series). In the near future, Rovio is also working to bring a seamless and connected experience through any platform you play Angry Birds on. For example, if you start playing Angry Birds on your iPad, you can continue your progress on your Samsung TV or on a PC in an internet cafe," it said.
However, it said gamers should not get too carried away with the game on Valentine's Day, lest they risk angry girlfriends.
"We encourage our readers not to get too carried away playing the game that you forget your normal Valentine’s Day responsibilities. Angry Birds are one thing, but angry girlfriends are a different game altogether," it said.
Penn-Olson said Vesterbacka demonstrated the game on Facebook, showing its full screen capability and higher quality animation to maximize the playing experience.
It said Rovio will also introduce new power-ups such as an earthquake or special, bigger, or stronger birds that one can buy for 99 cents or earn while playing the game.
Angry Birds on Facebook will be social, with leaderboards so people can try to beat each other scores by buying power-ups to earn bragging rights.
Rovio also plans to release more games than it did last year, after releasing the Rio and Seasons variants in 2011.
It hinted at making a more localized game with local content, Penn-Olson said.
Recently, Rovio released a Year of the Dragon update to Angry Birds Seasons for the Chinese New Year where it has a new theme, animations - and a swooping dragon as a power-up.
"The team is planning to do something like this in Indonesia, and that’s another part of the reason for the visit here. The forthcoming game will include local content such as Batik, Garuda, or even Komodo so that it has a more local touch filled with Indonesian cultural references," it said.
Intern recruitment at Rovio
Rovio also plans to recruit an intern by holding a game developer competition in Indonesia.
The winner will earn an internship for a month and, in return, contribute to the localized version of Angry Birds. — TJD, GMA News