Angry Birds, the blisteringly popular handheld video game, is already available on a range of devices, from the Apple iPhone to any of the gazillions of handsets running Google's Android OS. Next up for Angry Birds? Facebook. According to a new feature in Wired UK, the Finnish studio Rovio is prepping a Facebook edition of Angry Birds for release sometime this year – and the port will involve some kind of "collaborative" functionality.
Beyond that, details are scarce. But a Facebook edition of Angry Birds certainly makes sense. In recent years, Facebook has hosted scores of popular titles – from FarmVille, a simulation developed by Zynga, to Bejeweled and Kingdoms of Camelot – and many analysts see Facebook as the next major market for video game publishers.
"What Facebook has done is open up gaming to a much wider audience – it has provided a platform for people who wouldn't even normally consider themselves gamers. It's changing the way that the gaming business is going to work," Justin Smith, the founder of research firm Inside Network recently told the Monitor. "This is the biggest revolution in the gaming industry in quite a while."
But is Angry Birds a perfect fit for Facebook? PC World's Jared Newman, for one, isn't sure. "Zynga's games endure, at least in part, because they turn gaming into a routine," Newman writes today. "As fun as tending to a virtual crop may be, it's also an obligation. The social aspect of Zynga's games –Cityville players, for instance, can gain experience by performing work in their friends' cities – reinforces the need to keep playing."
We agree. In order to make Angry Birds work on Facebook, Rovio will have to add a social aspect to the game, which is currently very much a single-player experience. What would you like to see in the Facebook edition of Angry Birds? Drop us a line in the comments section. In the meantime, if you haven't done so already, sign up for the free Innovation newsletter, which is emailed out every Wednesday morning.