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Angry Birds want to be Donald Duck

Short 'toons start soon as part of Disney emulation plan

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Angry Birds short form content is coming to every connected device as creators Rovio move deeper into becoming an entertainment company in the style of Disney.

Yes, Disney. Rovio's head of animation Nick Dorra tod the MIPTV conference in Cannes that the company did not want to be viewed as an EA wannabe but more of a diversified entertainment company like Disney. “Disney is a great model for us. We want to be seen as an entertainment company not a games company,” Dorra said.

The Finnish gaming disrupter’s Angry Birds characters will soon be on your high street, building activity parks in your suburb, launching an animated series and within two years starring in a feature film, according to creators Rovio.

Dorra, said that the mobile games creator is currently working on rolling out a series of weekly short form content, based on the game with an initial 52 episode run.

The series will be between two-and-a-half and three minutes each in order to lend itself to distribution across as many connected devices as possible. “We want to have universal distribution for all of our products, be they games, publishing, or merchandising products and present on all possible screens -smart phones smart TV’s, tablets, every kind of connected device . We want to be where our fans are,” he said.

The acquisition of Finnish animation studio Kombo last year was geared to retaining the integrity of the brands they built and to move more deeply into the multi-device content space, he added. Former Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel is also now part of the Rovio team.

Dorra said that Rovio’s direction was following the “strong shift from the traditional media consumption into mobile and tablet consumption.” TV consumption in the US sits at around 150 -160 hours of TV viewing per month, he said “but the top apps already bring in 20 hours per month and I think that is huge. That is just the beginning and it is still growing from there,” he forecast.

Dorra added that the other trend that will reshape gaming, content and media is ubiquitous distribution. “There is a time coming, whether people like it or not, where you have something released at the same time, all over the world," he said. Adding that the upshot would be that there will no longer be problems with piracy.

Over 700 million people have downloaded the Angry Birds games, the latest Angry Birds Space racking up 20 million in its first week of release. “People still think sometimes that Angry Birds is an overnight success. It is not. It is the 52nd game that Rovio has done since 2003,” Dorra said.

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