Angry Birds maker Rovio partners with Chinese gaming firm

Downjoy is releasing official versions of the Angry Birds game to the Chinese market

Angry Birds chief marketing officer, Peter Vesterbacka, talks to a crowd in China about Angry Birds

Angry Birds chief marketing officer, Peter Vesterbacka, talks to a crowd in China about Angry Birds

Rovio Mobile, the developer of Angry Birds, has partnered with a Chinese gaming firm, giving players in the country a new avenue to download official versions of their hit product.

The Chinese mobile games provider Downjoy announced the partnership on Monday, and is now offering free downloads of the Angry Birds game to its users via the company's websites.

The partnership is part of Rovio's strategy to achieve 100 million downloads of its Angry Birds game in China. Late last month, the company reported 10 million of its 140 million downloads of the game had come from China. Rovio believes it has a major market opportunity in the country, considering China has close to 900 million mobile phone users.

Angry Birds, launched in Dec. 2009, has become one of the most popular mobile games on the market. The product is available for smartphones including Android devices and Apple's iPhone.

Monday's partnership aims to bring more official versions of the game to Chinese users.

"In the past, other platforms that offered the Angry Birds game were all bootleg versions," said Downjoy spokeswoman Liang Shuang. "But with this, Downjoy has worked through Rovio to provide an authorized official version of the game."

Chinese users can also download official versions of the game through Apple's App Store. But Downjoy is the first authorized marketplace in China to distribute Angry Birds for Android devices, said Rovio spokesman Ville Heijari.

Rovio plans on setting up a team in China to help develop Angry Birds games for the local market, according to an earlier interview with the company's chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka. Rovio also plans to release other versions of the game for the PC and lower-end feature phones.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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