Rovio is taking the stage here at the ReadWriteWeb 2WAY Summit to make a new announcement, one that will take Angry Birds to a whole new place. In fact, Angry Birds will soon be everywhere. Quite literally.Just when you thought Angry Birds had spread to every possible platform - iOS, Android, Facebook, Chrome - the game-maker
With this new aspect, Angry Birds Magic, which will be rolling out in the coming weeks, the wildly successful puzzle game will become connected to the physical world.
Angry Birds Everywhere, with NFC and GPS
Connecting Angry Birds to the physical world will take several forms. The first of this will take advantage of NFC (near field communications). This means that players will be able to unlock new levels and special birds by tapping their NFC-enabled phones together or by tapping certain NFC-enabled tags.
The beauty of these tags, says Ramine Darabiha, Product Manager for Angry Birds Magic, is that "you can put NFC stickers in everything."
And that's what Angry Birds plans to do. All of the merchandising around the wildly successful game will contain these NFC-enabled tags. This means that you can tap your phone onto a plush toy or onto a cookbook, for example, in order to unlock various rewards.
Of course, not all phones are currently NFC-enabled. So while Angry Birds Magic will initially be only on Nokia's phones, Rovio plans to have these new NFC capabilities available for all NFC-enabled devices soon. And so as not to alienate the millions of fans who've downloaded the game onto devices that don't have NFC, you'll also be able to unlock some of the Magic through GPS, not just via NFC-tagged products.
When you play Angry Birds in certain locations, "magic happens," says Darabiha. Not every place will be magic (after all, how magical would that be) - just locations that "make sense" for the birds and the brand. In addition to being able to access new features in these Magic Places, these locations will also have leaderboards - all the better for you to showcase your Angry Birds' prowess.
As part of the rollout of Angry Birds Magic, Rovio is holding a contest to get users to help design and decide what the sounds should be that accompany this. The contest is being run on the Finnish crowdsourcing site AudioDraft. The winner will get $1000. But the big prize will be having your sounds and songs in every Angry Birds game. Everywhere.
Angry Birds, the Platform
The announcement about Angry Birds Magic today follows on the news late last year that the company was opening a Bad Piggy Bank, an in-app mobile payments system. The deep integration with places and products - with NFC, handsets, and merchandising - makes it clear that Angry Birds isn't simply a popular game available for a variety of platforms. It aims to be a platform itself.