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Angry Birds Creator Cites Nintendo and Miyamoto As His Biggest Influences

Posted by Damien McFerran

Jaakko Iisalo clearly has good taste

Angry Birds has become something of a phenomenon in the world of video gaming, and has attained the kind of fame that is usually reserved for the likes of Sonic and Mario.

Rovio creative director Jaakko Iisalo — the man responsible for the concept and look of the Angry Birds games — has revealed to EDGE his main influences:

I'm still heavily inspired by the classic 8- and 16-bit era of gaming, though, Shigeru Miyamoto and Nintendo being biggest influences.

This isn't the first time Iisalo has made this claim; in an interview with EDGE back in 2011, he admitted that he was so obsessed with the Japanese company as a child that he earned the nickname 'Nintendo-Jaska’.

Iisalo will no doubt be pleased to learn that Miyamoto himself is a fan of his game, and has previously stated that he wished he'd come up with the idea.

Image courtesy of EDGE Online.

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User Comments (32)

R-Moss

#1

R-Moss said:

But Angry Birds is not an original game.

His major influence was Crush the Castle.

Newtwo

#6

Newtwo said:

Why does this game get so much attention? It's only decent at best and if you want a fun ios game, get jetpack joyride. It's free and the gameplay is addicting. Jetpack Joyride is the only ios game I keep coming back to, unlike angry birds.

thesilverbrick

#7

thesilverbrick said:

Rovio has clearly developed a big ego over the success of Angry Birds, but can anyone name anything else they've done? I didn't think so...

Cevan

#8

Cevan said:

@thesilverbrick Well, they've done Bad Piggies (spin-off of Angry Birds), Amazing Alex, The Croods mobile phone game, and they've published Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage and Tiny Thief.

thesilverbrick

#9

thesilverbrick said:

@Cevan
Sure, but has anything besides Angry Birds met with any critical acclaim or even decent sales figures? Rovio is a one-trick pony.

thesilverbrick

#11

thesilverbrick said:

@SkywardLink98
And in spite of that, not only is it a spin-off, riding on Angry Birds' coattails, but the game was far more complex than Angry Birds, alienating the target demographic. I have an eight-year-old nephew who adores Angry Birds and can't play Bad Piggies because of the learning curve.
I'm not saying the game doesn't have any merit, but Rovio is not the mega-studio they like to pretend they are. They simply had a successful game in Angry Birds and they've let it go to their heads.

Bulbousaur

#12

Bulbousaur said:

I can't see the appeal of Angry Birds. There is zero strategy to it. It's all constant trail and error, and when you achieve something it's usually completely by luck. It's just too dumbed down in the wrong way to be enjoyable to me.

yuwarite

#13

yuwarite said:

He basically copied the gameplay mechanic from a Super Mario 64 DS mini game and used it in angry birds. Remember the one where you sling shot Mario using the touch screen? If those M64DS mini games had been on a smart phone, perhaps no one would care about angry birds.

Klimbatize

#14

Klimbatize said:

@thesilverbrick If only we all could be a "one-trick pony" with a trick that successful.

It's so predictable how much hate Rovio gets. It's now the norm to try to tear down people who are successful, especially people who we don't think deserve it. I have to imagine jealousy plays a role.

Ralizah

#15

Ralizah said:

Angry Birds Space wasn't awful, but I'll never understand the appeal of the concept as a whole. I just liked the gravity manipulation in that game.

CrazyOtto

#17

CrazyOtto said:

I do appreciate that Rovio did that Angry Birds theme park section of a large theme park in Finland (where Rovio is based).

thesilverbrick

#18

thesilverbrick said:

@Klimbatize
I don't begrudge Rovio their success, and I happen to own Angry Birds on my iPhone and I do enjoy playing it from time to time when I don't have my 3DS with me. What bothers me are comments from Rovio lobbing insults at Nintendo's business model and calling their games "50 dollar pieces of plastic", or when they have the nerve to compare their casual time filler experiences on smartphones to Nintendo's AAA titles on 3DS.
Rovio had one successful game and now they act as if they're legendary developers that should be held on high. They made a nice, affordable and entertaining little product in Angry Birds, but seriously, know your place.

ricklongo

#21

ricklongo said:

Angry Birds is pretty cool. It's not the kind of game I obsess about, but it's incredible how much time people like my mom and my girlfriend (both not gamers by any means) put into it. It does pretty well what it means to do: being a fun little diversion for waiting rooms.

Also, the characters are adorable and their design is top-notch for merchandising.

DM1

#24

DM1 said:

He's gotta be bluffing, Angry Birds is the exact opposite of a Nintendo game. It's a reskin of an already existing genre, little innovation, probably one of the biggest sellout IP's in the history of video games, and overall, pretty mindless.

Angry Birds is more of an icon slapped on merchandise than it is a game, I'd bet this is some sort of half assed effort to reach out to classic game fans or something.

Shambo

#25

Shambo said:

I like the game, but i prefer it in 3d in the form of Boom Blox. It has more variety and way less hype, sadly.

Swiket

#26

Swiket said:

@DM1 Little innovation? Reskin? "Half assed effort to reach out to classic game fans"? Are you sure you aren't talking about New Super Mario Bros U?

Caryslan

#27

Caryslan said:

@DM1 By your logic, Mother was a reskin of Dragon Quest & Final Fantasy since it took alot for common elements from those two games. And what's wrong with a video game being mindless fun? Many of your classic games like Pac-Man, Asteroids, Space Invades, and numerous others were just "mindless fun."

And how is Angry Birds a sell out franchise? Because they appeal to a broad game player base with the game? Because it was a mobile phone game? Who did they sell out to? Most of your classic arcade games were aimed at general audiences as well. Why is Angry Birds in the wrong for doing the same thing?

Tender_Cutlet

#29

Tender_Cutlet said:

Title should read Angry Birds creator attempts to butters up Nintendo hardcore prior to the release of his devisive, commercial software.

Moorpheel

#30

Moorpheel said:

While I don't really play his games, I love the characters and have bought a lot of their merch. Good to see he's a nintendo fan too.

MAB

#31

MAB said:

I played it for 5 minutes on a friends pooppad... Never had the urge to even consider it on my Galaxy S4 ;)

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