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Angry Birds Saved Rovio from Bankruptcy

There's an interesting story provided by Wired UK that tells the story of Angry Birds developer Rovio. One of the surprising aspects about the developer's overall timeline is that it was facing bankruptcy at a time when the studio decided to stop making games for other companies, and to embark on its own IP. After going through "hundreds" of concepts, the studio settled on one that would quickly rake in millions. The rest, as they say, is history.

According to the article, Rovio was close to bankruptcy at the beginning of 2009. The studio had created 51 titles before Angry Birds flew into the picture, many of which were sold to the likes of EA and Namco. But they knew the perfect game needed to be created in order to keep the doors open. "We thought we would need to do ten to 15 titles until we got the right one," said 30-year-old Niklas Hed, one of two cousins who run the company.

But in late March 2009, it was Jaakko Iisalo, a games designer who had been at Rovio since 2006, who came up with the idea to create a group of very annoyed birds intent on taking out another group of greedy pigs. The original concept showed a cartoon flock of round, extremely cross birds, trudging along the ground, moving towards a pile of colorful blocks. "People saw this picture and it was just magical," Niklas said.

The game went through thousands of revisions spanning across eight months. At one point, the studio nearly abandoned the project as bankruptcy loomed even closer to the front door. But the team finished the game and realized they had something special after Niklas' mother burned a Christmas turkey because she was distracted by playing the game.

"She doesn't play any games," he admitted. "I realized: this is it."

Angry Birds became an overnight success. Bankruptcy was no longer an option. To this date, the overall Angry Birds brand has raked in nearly $70 million since the launch of the original Apple iOS game back in December 2009-- the game itself only cost $140,000 USD to make. Since its debut on Apple's App Store, Angry Birds has also crossed over to Nokia's N900 handset, the Palm Pre, Android smartphones, the PS3 and PSP, Windows and other platforms. There are also additional alterations of the original Angry Birds, taking advantage of various holidays and their settings.

To read the full story, head here.