Rovio shoots for the ‘triple E’: Entertainment, Entrepeneurship and … Education? (video interview)

robin@tech.eu

Here’s something you may not know about Rovio, the Finnish entertainment and media company behind the massively successful Angry Birds franchise: they recognise that gaming is a huge market, but they’re not actually satisfied with that and hoping to tackle that other giant market – education – to boot.

Yesterday, I bumped into Peter Vesterbacka, the public face and ‘Mighty Eagle’ of Rovio and a very frequent flyer, at the European Commission’s Eurapp workshop in Brussels.

I asked Peter about a comment he’d made earlier during his presentation, about Rovio’s ambitions to morph into a “triple E” company (entertainment, entrepreneurship and education).

Including the latter term in that definition is particularly interesting to me.

Not that Rovio has been quiet about their plans (although they haven’t exactly shouted it from the rooftops either): in September 2013 the company unveiled Angry Birds Playground, a ‘learning concept’ that it says allows children to experience learning in a fun way.

Based on the Finnish national curriculum, it’s a ‘360-degree’ educational programme covering maths, science, music, language, arts and crafts, physical education and social interaction.

Rovio collaborates with several scientific and educational brands and institutions like NASA, CERN, National Geographic Society and the University of Helsinki to turn its ambitions into reality.

Although the educational aspect has been part of Rovio’s operations for two and a half years now, Vesterbacka says they’re now getting serious about it, rolling out more widely in China and looking into ways to expand the program to include more age groups.

Other tidbits picked up during the interview: Rovio now employs 850 people, Vesterbacka says they’re really not in a hurry to go public any time soon and are looking to build a brand that lasts more than 100 years, there’s a new Angry Birds game (announced yesterday), and the Angry Birds featured film (slated to hit theatres in summer 2016) is apparently coming along well.

Featured image credit: Vancouver Film School / Flickr

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