Hundreds of Angry Birds Theme Parks to Open in China

Finnish software development company Rovio has announced plans to build the first official Angry Birds Activity Park in Haining, which might be the first of a string of possibly hundreds more in the country, as it looks to extend the success of the brand beyond game in their second biggest market after the U.S.

Peter Vesterbacka, Mighty Eagle, Chief Marketing Officer, right, and a representative of China's Haining City, left, shake hands during the opening ceremony of the Shanghai office of Rovio, maker of popular game "Angry Birds", Thursday June 14, 2012 in Shanghai, China. The Finnish gaming company Rovio plans a theme park in the nearby city of Haining, similar to its Angry Birds Land at Finland's Sarkanniemi Amusement Park. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

“Instead of building one massive amusement park, we’re planning to build hundreds, maybe even thousands of activity parks here in China,” says Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Peter Vesterbacka. To make it easier, Rovio plan to franchise the parks to businesses that would like to own smaller activity parks throughout the country starting this year. Several negotiations in various cities are already underway. What Rovio wants is to have the parks part of neighborhoods, much like with the local school, bookstore and library.

Following an unofficial theme park that opened in the China last year, Rovio have set up an official one in its home country in April. Rovio plans to establish other “nests” in the U.S. and the UK.

In an interview with Xinhua, Vesterbacka highlights his ideal to incorporate traditional Chinese fairy tales into the themes of a number of activity parks to be built in China. “We are looking at the amazing stories in Chinese history as themes for our parks,” he said.

The first official park, to be hosted by Shanghai Tongji University, will feature rides inspired by the popular game, and will open its doors to the public soon. It will be built at the university’s Sino-Finnish Center around October this year.

In addition to that, Rovio Entertainment Ltd’s first overseas office has opened in Shanghai last year, which lets Rovio work closely with local creators in developing cartoons and animation within Chinese elements. Other things they have done to better raise awareness of the brand in this market is by selling Angry Birds moon cakes during China’s mid-Autumn festival last year. Rovio has also launched an online game in cooperation with Coca-Cola China and Chinese Olympic teams, which will be set at the upcoming London Olympic Games.

Rovio does not plan to stop with theme parks. The company also wants to tap China’s education field by teaching physics, history and culture. It seems a billion Angry Birds downloads is just the tip of the iceberg.