Angry Birds is now available for play in Google’s Chrome browser, a development that will further both the game’s global domination and awareness of Google’s browser.
Those who can’t get enough of Rovio’s Birds with the mobile iOS or Android versions can download the game for free from Google’s Chrome Web Store for play on a PC or Mac. The Chrome version is largely identical to the classic game, though it includes some extra levels and is controlled with a mouse rather than a touch screen.
“We’ve wanted to bring Angry Birds to the Web for a long time,” said Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio’s chief executive. “The reason we’ve been so angry is we haven’t been able to do it until now.”
The jump to the desktop ensures that just about everyone can now play the game, which has already garnered a staggering following on mobile devices. It also continues Rovio’s relentless refreshing of interest in the Birds through seasonal special editions, new platform launches, cross promotions with films, and creative merchandising.
In fact, Angry Birds has been so successful that Rovio has launched movie tie-ins, iPhone cases and a board game. Rovio is even eyeing a possible IPO in the next few years.
The game is also a coup for Google, whose Chrome browser has climbed to hold around 10 percent of the market, putting it ahead of Apple’s Safari but well behind market leaders Internet Explorer and Firefox. Although mobile is where the hot growth is now, Google remains interested in securing PC territory through Chrome.
The browser paves the way for Google’s nascent Chrome OS, a cloud-centric operating system that ties into Web services like Google Docs. The company would like to get people comfortable with the idea of the browser as a place you go to run programs. Angry Birds’ popularity means that it will be many people’s first browser app, but probably not their last.