One of the most popular applications to hit the smartphone and beyond is Angry Birds from Rovio. Every hour, millions of users log in sixteen years worth of time rescuing and avenging eggs using kamikaze birds to strike green pigs. It is a huge success; a monument to both planning and luck with a beginning as quiet as any seed.
Mikael and Niklas Hed, along with game designer Jaakko Iisalo, are the power behind the Angry Birds. In 2009, the two cousins had rescued Rovio from bankruptcy by creating an selling games to big third party names like EA games. However, the pair knew that in order to be truly successful, they had to create a game for Rovio. The Smartphone was about to make a splash in the world and the pair knew that they had a chance to be a cornerstone in entertainment in the new mobile world; but how to do it?
Then walked in Jaako Iisalo, a game designer who had been with the company since 2006. He had been pitching ideas for two months with no luck and the company had scrapped over a dozen games searching for the right one. This time, he showed them a screenshot of a flock of round cartoon birds trooping towards some colorful blocks looking… angry! The screenshot was so adorable, funny and silly that everyone who saw it loved it and so Angry Birds was born. Obviously, it took a while after that to go from screenshot to game, and no little frustration, stress, creative blocks, and energy, but like all great seeds, with the right application of care, nurturing and fuel, it grew into something amazing.
Angry Birds has since exploded, with several ‘episodes’ each composed of many levels, plush animals, clothing, key chains and even rumblings of a movie deal. The brand is worth almost eighty million pounds now; not bad for a game that cost about $160,000 to make initially. And the game promises to continue its rise to power with more updates, chapters, bonus levels, movies and perhaps even a cartoon someday.
And to think, it all started with a small idea, but that’s usually all it takes.