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.
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.”