The chief marketing officer of the creator of “Angry Birds”, mobile-phone games, says yesterday they may sell shares to the public as early as next year and is probably worth more than $1 billion. The touch screen game, in which players use a virtual slingshot to fling birds at structures populated by green pigs, has had 400 million free and paid downloads since 2009, with three fourths of those in the last six months.
The company is hiring in the United States and China to develop activities such as retail and movies, and is worth more than $1 billion, based on funding talks, people with knowledge of the discussions said in August.
The Angry Birds brand also makes cash via advertising in- game purchases and physical merchandise including T-shirts, Halloween costumes, stuffed toys and a cookbook. And has benefitted from free publicity, including a mention by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, who praised Angry Birds this year “for creating an occupation for a huge number of officials who now know what to do with their leisure time.”Merchandise is 10 to 20 percent of the business, and stuffed toys, priced $8.99 to $69.99 on the company’s website, are selling a million units a month, the company said. “We’re insanely profitable,” they said. “We are very, very profitable. We’re not a publicly traded company yet but we can fund our own growth.”