When Angry Birds came out, it was a soft hit. The world took to it slowly but surely and pretty soon it was number one on this chart and number one on the other chart. Fans went nuts every time there was an update out as well as when they'd announce a new platform they released it on. 'Seasons' brought something innovative to the table; the same gameplay but in festive spirits. And then came the juggernaut, Rio. Rio brought a lot of newness to the table, with a different objective in world one (saving instead of beating) and surviving villains in world two. I have to admit when the 'Easter Seasons' update made it out, I was a bit unfazed after being exposed to Angry Birds Rio. The same gameplay that once had me addicted now left me dissatisfied. Furthermore, when the regular Angry Birds gets an update, the new levels will be so difficult that I'm almost relying on the 'Mighty Eagle' just to see what's next. Very boring. I'm almost drawn to a conclusion that Angry Birds cannot rely on the game play itself to remain the global phenomenon that it is.
Flying in and taking over – So what's next?
What's put Angry Birds in the news lately? As in – gotten people really excited. The big one, again, is the Rio version of the game. Rovio tied up with Twentieth Century Fox to put that one out . The next big thing is how Nokia's using Angry Birds to sell NFC phones. You have to bump an NFC phone with another NFC phone to get new levels that non NFC phones will never have. There were some whispers of a reverse Angry Birds being made, where the game could be played from a different perspective, the eye of the pigs, so to speak. Of course, movie rumours, TV show parodies and well, cupcakes and Halloween costumes have kept the game alive. And, in order for Rovio to maintain the longevity of its breadwinner, it's going to have to do a few things for the game that may even render frequent updates inconsequential.
The first is the obvious one – Hollywood tie-ups. It's already done one. A movie about Angry Birds might be pushing it, but hey, they'll make a movie about anything these days. A Bollywood tie-up would be even more awesome, of course, as the pigs and birds get super dramatic and then break into song and dance numbers. In fact, I think Rajnikanth should be involved. The idea here is to branch out to different types of media. The silver screen is one option, comic books are the second most obvious choice. Each issue would be about how the pigs stole the eggs and what formations the birds have to take to kill the pigs (and hopefully get their 'andas' back).The one area that I (and I'm sure many other fans) will put their foot down on is an Angry Birds-Justin Bieber/Rebecca Black music video.
The next one is the cheesy one – Chotchkis, Gifts, Merchandise – Whatever you want to call it. They have the plush toys already but put plain and simple, they need to get cooler. It could be from mundane objects like Hallmark cards and Christmas ornaments to awesome-er stuff like the rumoured board game or even Lego kits, you know, so kids have an excuse for hurling Lego at each other.
Thirdly, and this is the more obscure one, Rovio, I think, needs to do something REALLY out of the ordinary and make Angry Birds a physical space for people to hang out in. More than just Game Center and more than just Angry Birds meetups. They need something like a bar, with perhaps their own birdy beer. Maybe in just one place in the world. It would be called Angry Birds tourism and it would be great.
Finally, the final gain in world domination, Angry Birds needs a flag at Rockerfeller Center and the United Nations headquarters. Maybe not part of the Jaldi 5 group of countries immediately but at least having representation. More than anything, this is a joke, but a joke that works. And the way that squabbles take place in such political settings, it's only fair that the squawking squabblers hangs out with global leaders.
That last one may be a joke, or may not, you decide. But being a global phenomenon is actually what might make me stay interested in the updates. Just saying, it's not about gameplay anymore. So here's the planet, Rovio, go grab it.