By Zhu Shenshen | 2012-7-14 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
Angry Birds products are displayed at the Rovio Entertainment Ltd's Angry Birds brand store in Shanghai, the first one outside the game developer's home base in Finland.
Photo by Zhu Shenshen
ROVIO Entertainment Ltd, the developer of Angry Birds, expects its China revenue to triple in 2012, thanks to booming license income from Angry Birds products such as T-shirts, toys and amusement parks, Paul Chen, Rovio China's general manager, said yesterday.
Rovio yesterday opened an Angry Birds brand store in Shanghai, the first one outside its home base in Finland. The store in Xujiahui area, which sells licensed apparel and iPhone cases, is the first of 25 such outlets scheduled to open in China by the end of this year.
Besides brand stores, Rovio plans to launch 10 to 20 Angry Birds theme parks in China, with the first one expected to open in Haining, Zhejiang Province, in October.
"The products (sold in stores and parks) are uniquely designed for Chinese consumers," Chen told Shanghai Daily in an exclusive interview. "We are opening the stores to provide our fans with the easiest way to get authorized Angry Birds products."
Angry Birds is one of the world's most popular mobile game on all platforms, including Apple's iOS and Google's Android, with a total of 1 billion downloads. China is Rovio's second-biggest regional market contributing almost 150 million downloads.
But like many other application developers, Rovio's revenue from the mobile game is relatively limited because of piracy and lack of effective payment methods in China, analysts said.
Rovio plans to raise the portion of license income to 30 percent of its total income in China by the end of this year, compared with 10 percent now, Chen added.
To achieve the target, it will open 25 stores this year, probably three in Shanghai. Its second outlet in China will open within a month in Beijing.
An Angry Birds-themed iPhone case costs 138 yuan (US$21) while a T-shirt costs 299 yuan at the Shanghai store.
Meanwhile, the company will open amusement parks in collaboration with domestic partners with Angry Birds themes. Besides the Haining park, it is planning parks near Beijing, Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan Province, and Guangzhou in south China's Guangdong Province.
Rovio will have more than 100 employees in China by the end of 2012, compared with 11 now. The additional employees are for a new animation program studio in Shanghai and research centers for online games for Chinese users.