Angry Birds: 350m downloads and climbing

Angry Birds: 350m downloads and climbingEvery now and again, something comes along that we just can't stop playing with.

In the 80s, it was the Rubik's Cube, the 90s gave us the Tamagotchi. The last couple of years, it has been Angry Birds - probably the biggest success story in the world of smartphone apps and an inspiration to app entrepreneurs everywhere.

In fact, Andrew Stalbrow, the general manager of Rovio - the company to blame for getting us hooked on the Angry Birds phenomenon - has revealed that it has been downloaded more than 350 million times.

What's more, users spend an average of 300 million minutes EVERY DAY playing it and the videos on YouTube, which help us figure out how to complete those harder levels, have had some 170m hits all told. Wow!

It gives you an idea of how its gone from just being a game to a worldwide franchise. Stalbrow himself isn't some geeky kid in a garage who hit upon a multi-million dollar idea - he's a former Fox Entertainment Exec brought in by Rovio to make Angry Birds as successful as Pokemon with its video games, TV show, toys and even movies.

That's why we've seen the 'Rio' version which came along to complement 20 Century Fox's movie of the same name.

Rovio reckons the value of the company will very soon be $1.2bn but it's putting all of its eggs in one basket (see what we did there?) by focusing most of its efforts on its most successful franchise. And it's expanding with 50 employes now based in Finland.

But much as we love to play the game, we can't imagine how any potential movie would pan out. It would have to stick to the plot of the angry birds getting their eggs back. And since they don't speak, there'd be very little dialogue. Still, with the investment Rovio's putting in, it'll probably be a success.

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