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Angry Birds revenues at $70m from $140k costs

Catapult IP brings in $975k a month from merchandise alone

Rovio's ubiquitous mobile hit Angry Birds cost €100,000 ($140,000) to create and update but has brought in estimated revenues of €50 million ($70 million).

In an interview with Wired, Rovio's co-founders claimed that the Finnish developer's plan was to become like "Disney 2.0", thanks to cross-media efforts in TV, merchandise and comics.

"Look at how Disney got started," said chief executive Mikael Hed. "Steamboat Willie created Mickey Mouse, then they added more characters. You can see the same pattern today, but everything is happening much, much faster. Other brands used to build recognition over the course of decades. We've done it in one year."

Rovio, which now boasts 40 employees, brings in almost $975,000 a month from the free to play Android version of the game alone - and the same again from Angry Birds cuddly toys.

40 per cent of revenues, Hed claimed, stem from non-game businesses, such as merchandising and licensing. Rovio's next move is Angry Birds Rio, a tie-in with the upcoming 20th Century Fox animated movie, and a Facebook version of the game.

Beyond that, "We are building our infrastructure with Angry Birds. So we have the distribution, the marketing, everything in place, so that we can basically take any IP and drop it in. And we have the capability of producing the games on all the platforms - smartphones, consoles, PCs, Mac, online, Facebook - you name it. Then the TV, the movie side, it will happen when the time is right."

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Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.
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