Angry Birds may be the biggest hit on Apple's App Store and a ubiquitous pop-culture presence, but the birds' creators have even bigger plans for their furious fowls—a Super Mario Bros-level of success. "What we’re doing is we’re building out the Angry Birds world,” the self-styled “Mighty Eagle” of Finnish game studio Rovio tells Wired. “Pac-Man is only one game. Mario is a better benchmark," says Peter Vesterbacka.
To that end, Angry Birds is branching out. In addition to the 75 million downloads to date, there is an Angry Birds shop, a coming Angry Birds board game, and of course, ever more iterations of the game. Coming up next—an Angry Birds tie-in with the Fox animated film Rio in March. Rovio, meanwhile, plans to expand from 40 employees to 100 by the end of the year. “It wasn’t completely random that Angry Birds did very well,” another company honcho tells Wired. “We did a lot of homework before we ended up with that concept.” (Read more Angry Birds stories.)