updated 05:30 pm EDT, Tue September 20, 2011
Gamemaker trying to widen appeal as preps for IPO
Game maker Rovio is looking create new nests for its "Angry Birds". Bloomberg reports that the company is in talks with Starbucks and other retailers in order to to attract new customers and get existing players to venture out of their digital world and buy real-world goods, such as books, stuffed animals, and T-shirts. Rovio is diversifying beyond the virtual realm to make itself more attractive to investors in anticipation of a future IPO.
This would not be the first brick and mortar store where Rovio is trying to find a roost for its avian characters. In June, the company launched a partnership with Barnes & Noble, through which Nook Color owners, playing the game online while in a B&N store, receive a Mighty Eagle bird for free. Younger players get free stickers and temporary tattoos. In return, B&N stores sell Angry Birds merchandise.
Rovio already sells more than ten million stuffed animal characters annually. In March, the Finnish company raised $42 million in funding. Its current valuation is believed to be in excess of $1 billion.