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Rovio's huge Angry Birds riches detailed

Facebook is next platform to be conquered.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

News that Rovio, the small Finnish developer Rovio behind Angry Birds, has done rather well for itself off the back of its smartphone phenomenon will come as little surprise. However, new information detailing the scope of its fortune makes for an eye-watering read.

According to Wired, experts have put revenues from the game at around £50 million to date. That's off the back of an initial €100,000 investment from the independent studio.

Breaking down that revenue further, the full version of the game has now been purchased from the App Store 20 million times to date. At 59p a pop, that works out at around £11.8 million before any distribution costs are considered.

It's been downloaded a further 20 million times on Android systems. That version is free, though Rovio earns £600,000 a month from in-game advertising.

Total sales for the £2.99 Mac App Store version are unknown, but it was downloaded 150,000 times in its first week alone, totaling £448,500 in revenue.

The 89p Mighty Eagle in-app purchase that helps you clear levels has been downloaded two million times at very little cost to Rovio. That adds up to another £1.78 million.

Sales of cuddly toys then bring in another £600,000 a month, according to Rovio boss Mikael Hed.

Although the developer has since invested more cash in the franchise, that's still an enormous return on its initial investment especially considering only around 40 people work at the studio. Interestingly, the company payroll had shrunk to just 12 in 2009 and the company was on the verge of collapse.

Fast forward a couple of years and the juggernaut is all set to keep on rolling. St Patrick's Day is the latest add-on to the Seasons spin-off and a tie-in with forthcoming animated movie Rio hits next month too.

After that, a Facebook version of the game looms. Rather than a straight port of the original iOS game, new gameplay features are promised.

"There will be completely new aspects to it that just haven't been experienced on any other platform," said development chief Niklas Hed, before teasing, "Yeah. The pigs will have a more prominent role."

Looking further into the future, Rovio intends to spin off characters from the game into their own sub-franchises, and a movie is also in the works.

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