Angry Birds Catapults Itself To One Billion Downloads

A little footnote — no, actually, a big footnote — to Rovio’s news earlier this week that revenues had increased by more than tenfold in 2011: the games developer says that its Angry Birds games have now passed the one billion download mark.

Finland-based Rovio notes that this is taking into account the full range of games, including the original Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio, and the newest, Angry Birds Space.

The company has been milking the Angry Birds brand since first launching its iOS version of the game in December 2009, and in addition to a number of versions of the original game, there is now also an extensive merchandising operation that contributed 30 percent of all of Rovio’s sales for 2011.

But the company is also looking ahead. Many believe that it will be later this year that Rovio will launch a new franchise, while continuing to develop the huge Angry Birds brand at the same time. It is expected that the company will IPO in 2013 listing in New York and/or Hong Kong.

And yesterday, its Finnish neighbor, Nokia, announced that it would be investing in a new team of developers with Rovio to develop games for the Windows Phone platform — another sign of how the company is evolving, since the vast majority of its business today is on two platforms: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

In a run-down of its 2011 earnings earlier this week, Rovio noted it made $106.3 million in revenues in 2011, some ten times more than its estimated 2010 revenues.

The short and sweet video Rovio made in honor of today’s news is below. And I should also point out that the blog 148apps is making an interesting connection here: they’ve spotted that the little boy in the video below looks a lot like the character from Casey’s Contraptions, and he speculates that it may be that Rovio is developing that game as its first post-Angry Birds project. I’ve reached out to Rovio to ask about this and will update as I learn more…