Angry Birds Developer Nabs $42 Million, Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day

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They’re birds, and they’re angry, and now they’re flush with $42 million investment cash, thanks to a couple of bullish venture capital firms. Which means? A whole lot more Angry Birds, obviously.

Call it the next step in a series of improbable victories for the out-of-nowhere game about a bunch of surly (but cartoon-cute) avians angling to demolish the destructible domiciles of smirking pigs. Players use their fingers to tease the birds back in slingshots, releasing them to arc across the screen like feathered bombs in hopes of pulverizing complex constructs of wood, glass, and stone, inside which their eggs–and throngs of tittering pigs–hunker.

Rovio, the game’s Finnish developer, told Reuters the $42 million capital investment is all part of their tiny 40-employee company’s grand scheme to convert Angry Birds into an entertainment brand with fingers (or feathers) in every market. Think Facebook, then think even bigger, from a host of alternative platforms to Disney-like tie-in merchandizing to full-blown movies.

“This investment will give Rovio wings,” said Niklas Zennström, a Skype and Kazaa co-founder Rovio just named to its board. “Angry Birds is one of the fastest-growing online products I’ve seen, growing even faster than Skype, and the company has done a brilliant job of extending it across different platforms and merchandise.”

Angry Birds continues to dominate mobile sales charts, played by an estimated 40 million active monthly users (though on Apple’s iPhone App Store, it’s recently been dethroned by a new game called Tiny Wings). At last week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Rovio bragged the physics-based puzzler would soon pass the 100 million downloads mark across both paid ($0.99) and ad-supported versions.

Up next? Fifteen new Angry Birds St. Patrick’s Day levels (think shamrocks and brimmed leprechaun hats), including two new golden eggs and an option to dispatch holiday-themed greetings to friends. In fact it’s available now for just $0.99.

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