Angry Birds dev raises $42 million

Rovio picks up sizable capital from Accel Partners, Atomico Ventures, and Felicis Ventures; franchise coming to "all major consoles."

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Just days after it revealed that Angry Birds was coming to Facebook in May, developer Rovio announced that it has come by a major chunk of venture capital. Yesterday, the company said that it had received $42 million in funding from three venture-capital companies: Accel Partners, which helped fund Facebook and Groupon; "leading super angel fund" Felicis Ventures; and Atomico Ventures, which was set up by Skype cofounder Niklas Zennstrom. As part of the deal, Zennstrom will come aboard Rovio's board of directors.

After receiving $42 million in funds, these birds should be a bit less angry.
After receiving $42 million in funds, these birds should be a bit less angry.

Rovio said that the cash injection will facilitate its plans to expand the Angry Birds brand into social media as well as "other platforms," including all major consoles, later this year. The game was already released for the PlayStation 3 and PSP this past January, although no official announcement has been made about release plans for the Xbox 360 or Wii.

Rovio's expansion plan also sees Angry Birds taking root into other forms of media and merchandising. To date, some 2 million units of Angry Birds plush toys have been sold, and a new version of the game promoting the forthcoming animated film Rio is due out this month. Its film inspiration will premiere on April 15 in theaters nationwide.

One of Time magazine's top games of 2010, the game concerns flinging irritated birds from a slingshot into fortresses built by nasty pigs. The full version of the game had sold more than 12 million units worldwide as of last December, with more than 30 million versions of its free, ad-supported edition being downloaded to date. As of March 2011, Angry Birds was played by some 40 million people each month, according to Rovio.

For a more in-depth look at Angry Birds, check out GameSpot's write-up of the game's postmortem from this month's Game Developers Conference.

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