Mobile giant and Angry Birds developer Rovio have announced that they will be partnering with IMG as their exclusive publishing agent for books, audiobooks, comics and more.
It marks the first time Rovio has consolidated its licensing and publishing rights under a single agency. IMG (International Management Group) will liaise with a variety of book publishers and other companies that Rovio has brokered deals with over the years, including Puffin books and publishing house Storytel.
Senior Licensing Director, IMG, Adam Steel spoke about the businesses’ excitement for the partnership. “Ever since we joined forces in 2020, Angry Birds has been one of our most exciting partners and we’re delighted to have helped them build a robust and diverse licensing programme that reflects the game’s playful DNA. We look forward to utilising our global network and expertise to deliver a range of creative and engaging publishing products and experiences for this incredible brand and its fans.”
Building brands with books
As noted by Rovio themselves in their release, the multimedia aspect of Angry Birds has helped it become one of the world’s most recognised brands, mobile or not. Books and toys have been a major way of appealing to children and parents by offering an alternative way to engage with Angry Birds characters outside of a phone or tablet screen. The decision to integrate the licensing and publishing rights under a single management agency indicates a renewed focus on growing the brand.
Although Rovio is far from the first company to pursue books, movies and toys to make their franchise more visible – even in mobile, Runescape developers Jagex partnered with Titan Publishing last year – but their multimedia efforts did lead to two feature films being released in the process. Rovio will want to repeat their success with a newly focused strategy and approach to their publishing of books and licensing for toys.
Rovio and IMG will also be partnering to create a number of real-world location based experiences. Although what form this will take is unclear, it’s obvious that the mobile developer wants to re-energise their brand recognition as Angry Birds approaches its 15-year anniversary in 2024, especially as companies such Playtika are looking to acquire the already prestigious developer.