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It’s hard to believe I haven’t previously commented on Angry Birds, the mobile phone gaming sensation — and productivity killer — of 2010. First on iPhone, then on Android, Angry Birds showed us just how addicting a simple game can be. It tested our patience, our strategic physics brains, and our eyesight, and now, the video game is going analog.

Earlier this week, cnet‘s Natali Del Conte Morris showed off the concept for the game at CES, now underway in Las Vegas.

My interest in this is purely from a branding point of view. Angry Birds has achieved in just a year what most video games franchises take decades to achieve — the game has become a consumer brand. While the plush toys and Halloween costumes are to be expected, we’re now seeing the brand make a push into other consumer product categories. Chances are that anyone playing mobile video games won’t be an avid board gamer, but they might just be crazy enough to drop $15 on a cheeky extension of a now-favourite brand. The novelty of this game exceeds the actual fun factor.

Video game branding is tough. Obviously, it is important to create a cohesive visual identity, but there must be a valid product (the game) behind it all. Angry Birds successfully extended their game with a not-quite sequel during Halloween, and later Christmas, and in doing so reinforced the brand and kept people playing the game. The recent release of Angry Birds on the desktop via the Mac App Store has just about concluded the first Angry Birds campaign. Will board games take over where video games ended?

What are your thoughts, do you want an Angry Birds board game? How about Fruit Ninja?

via cnet tv »