AN­GRY BIRDS CRASH INTO DOHA

Rovio Entertainment's Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Teemu Suila dropped in at Cityscape 2014 to make an ex­cit­ing an­nounce­ment – the Mid­dle East's first An­gry Birds Ac­tiv­ity Park is set to open in Doha.

Qatar Today - - DEVELOPMENT > TECH TALK -

Last year there were re­ports that Rovio was keen to set up an An­gry Birds Ac­tiv­ity Park in the re­gion (six of which are al­ready up and run­ning world­wide) and Doha, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain were the top con­tenders for the prize. The story had slipped from our col­lec­tive con­scious­ness un­til early last month when COO Teemu Suila was found pos­ing with cud­dly An­gry Birds toys at the Mall of Qatar stand at Cityscape 2014, af­ter sign­ing the all-im­por­tant deal to bring the An­gry Birds ex­pe­ri­ence to Doha. The Ac­tiv­ity Park will make up onethird of the Fam­ily Entertainment Cen­tre at the Mall of Qatar (along with Ju­ni­verse and Vir­tuoc­ity) which is be­ing cre­ated in part­ner­ship with Talal bin Mo­hammed Trad­ing and ADabisc Fu­ture Qatar.

“Rovio has been ex­pand­ing its entertainment of­fer­ing since launch­ing the An­gry Birds game in 2009 and our ac­tiv­ity park is one of the streams we are look­ing to ex­pand in dif­fer­ent parts of the world with great part­ners. In Doha we have found the kind of part­ners with the ca­pa­bil­i­ties to build, de­liver and man­age this high-qual­ity entertainment av­enue,” says Suila. While Rovio brings the story and the vis­ual land­scape, it counts on its part­ners to trans­late that ex­pe­ri­ence to the phys­i­cal world, he says, adding that the new park in Doha “will be richer in de­sign and de­liver a more holis­tic ex­pe­ri­ence. This will be a more evolved ver­sion. Call it Ac­tiv­ity Park 2.0.”

As an entertainment com­pany, Rovio is ex­plor­ing mul­ti­ple ways to tell their most fa­mous story. The com­pany is work­ing on a fea­ture length an­i­ma­tion based on An­gry Birds, be­ing pro­duced in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Sony's Image­works which is ex­pected to be out in the­atres in 2016. “Games will al­ways be at the core of what we do and we are de­vel­op­ing new sto­ries and brands on the side. But as you prob­a­bly know, be­tween 2003 (whe the com­pany was founded) and 2009 (when An­gry Birds was launched) we de­vel­oped 51 mo­bile games to try and achieve a break-through in the mar­ket. Based on that ex­pe­ri­ence, the com­pany de­cided early on that when there is a great story to build on, we will take that and ex­pand it to mul­ti­ple forms of entertainment,” Suila says when asked about the com­pany's iden­tity. “Along with our se­ri­ous an­i­ma­tion pro­duc­tion (last year we launched Toons TV, a mo­bile car­toon net­work, which within a year got two bil­lion views), we also want to fo­cus on bring­ing into our port­fo­lio learn­ing and ed­u­ca­tion ex­pe­ri­ences based on the An­gry Birds brand.”

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