The incredibly popular game, Angry Birds, is one of the world’s favorite pastimes. At least it has been for the last five years. Even if you’ve never played it (and don’t lie – we know you have), you’re familiar with the plucky birds and their quest to off the nasty green piggies.
Rovio, parent company for the Angry Birds franchise, recently announced a new venture: Angry Birds Toons. The company has been publishing one short cartoon a week that further explores the adventures, personalities, and deep-seated rivalry of those loveable birds and snorty old pigs.
But there’s a twist – Rovio has not released the cartoons in a way you would expect. Instead of being aired on national cartoon networks or sandwiched between popular kids’ shows, Angry Birds Toons are available to anyone who owns an Angry Birds app and to a select audience that receives their partner stations.
Comcast’s Xfinity on Demand has exclusive rights to the short animations, as well as Roku and a handful of international, online TV stations. Rovio lists their supporting channels on the Angry Birds Toons website, or you can update your Angry Birds app and click “Toons.”
Angry Birds’ franchise experienced overwhelming success in a surprisingly short timeframe. Most popular series evolve slowly, and begin with a movie or TV show before branching into merchandise, apps, video games, and theme parks. But Angry Birds went in reverse, and Andrew Stalbow, a VP at Rovio, thinks they’re setting a new pattern for the way entertainment companies are built. By distributing media through their own in-app system, Rovio may very well be changing entertainment delivery for good. Stalbow said in an interview with Mashable, “I believe that smartphones and tablets will become the remote control of your digital life.” So it makes sense to start designing there, and build up to video shorts and feature films.
Have you seen the new Angry Birds Toons? Do you think Rovio has enough material for the feature film they’re debuting in 2016? What other games or apps would you like to see expand this way?
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