Giant Angry Bird on Space Needle won't take flight

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @NSwabyKing5

KING5.com

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 23 at 11:08 AM

SEATTLE -- The Space Needle is looking a little different, all part of the launch of the next chapter in the popular "Angry Birds" video game saga, "Angry Birds Space."

Rovio, the makers of the mobile app, hung big red banners from the side of the Seattle landmark early Thursday morning as a "catapult,' which is how the Angry Birds attack their targets. By afternoon, a giant blow-up Angry Bird was added to the catapult.

Some fans waited at the Space Needle all day for the red Angry Bird to actually take flight. But according to Forbes, Rovio said it's just an "art installation" and wouldn't be going anywhere.

By day two Friday, the giant Angry Bird was still perched on the Space Needle.
 
Peter Vesterbacka, the creator of "Angry Birds," traveled from Helsinki, Finland, for the big reveal in Seattle. (Watch our interview with Vesterbacka above)

"We're actually here in Seattle because we just launched 'Angry Birds Space,' our first new game in a year. That debuted at midnight," Vesterbacka said Thursday. "We wanted to do all things space and Seattle is famous for the Space Needle. So that's why we're here."

Vesterbacka and his team from Finland visited Seattle late last year and began plans to do something special for the global launch at the Space Needle.

"We created a partnership with NASA, so we launched a game two weeks ago from the International Space Station together with NASA," said Vesterbacka. "We also have a partnership with National Geographic, so the 'Angry Birds Space' book is one of the best selling books on Amazon right now."

NASA recently released their video promoting "Angry Birds Space," crediting it as a tool that could get students excited about science and technology.

Vesterbacka said he and the author of the "Angry Birds Space' book will be at the Space Needle to sign books and promote the new Angry Birds franchise. Several giveaways will include t-shirts,  books and games.

"We love to surprise and delight our fans," said Vesterbacka of the surprise launch. "It's always a lot more fun when you don't know exactly what's going to happen."

Seattle is home to many video game developers and, late last year at the Seattle Interactive Conference, "Angry Birds" was a big subject. The original version of the game and its offshoots have been downloaded more than 700 million times. Many Seattle tech companies are taking notes, trying to learn from the game's success.

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