China is crazy about Angry Birds. There are more than 40 million downloads of the Angry Birds game in China. Rovio, the Finnish creator of the game, already has an office in Shanghai with about 20 employees. It has also opened its first store in Finland.
Nowadays you get anything from USB drives to mooncakes on Angry Birds in China. There is a huge market for Angry Bird items that ranges from regular merchandise to a larger than life-sized Angry Bird games in theme parks. Angry Birds comes after Disney and Hello Kitty as a top pirated merchandising brand in China. Rovio has a potential market of hundreds of millions and unsurprisingly they have decided to open stores in Beijing and Shanghai. The CEO of Rovio, Vesterbacka has been quoted saying,
“Rovio chose Shanghai as the first location for an international office because of its unique position as one of the most creative and technologically advanced cities in the world, and also because Rovio wants to show its appreciation to Chinese fans by serving them even better locally”
Here are some pics from Chinanews.com on the Angry Birds game in a theme park in Hunan.
Rovio is looking at these unofficial items for inspiration for its own official products. The Rovio CEO Peter Vesterbacka has stated that he would not seek legal action against piracy. In fact, Rovio is negotiating with the theme park for a partnership instead of getting into legal action against them.
Vesterbacka has big plans of the company’s growth in China saying,
“Hopefully, Angry Birds will become the first entertainment brand to have more than one billion fans globally. And occupying the feature phone segment is absolutely a big part of the plan. Every day we are considering buying another company, and that is what we are looking at here in China. We are determined to acquire and hire top-end talent in China”