Angry Birds Magic Connects Game to Real World, Starting at Barnes & Noble


Angry Birds Magic


What Barnes & Noble is doing with Angry Birds may offer a glimpse into the future of gaming. As mobile devices become the primary platform for game play, and those devices become equipped with GPS (already) and near field communication (NFC, soon), more and more game elements may be informed or unlocked or otherwise augmented by real world surroundings. Imagine the possibilities…

via Angry Birds Magic Connects Game to Real World, Starting at Barnes & Noble.

Today, Barnes & Noble has been revealed to be the first-ever location where you can unlock the free Mighty Eagle character in Angry Birds Magic, the new game from franchise creators Rovio. The idea behind Angry Birds Magic is to use technology, like GPS and NFC (near field communication), to connect gamers with their surroundings in order to augment gameplay and unlock special location-based rewards.

How to Unlock the Mighty Eagle at Barnes & Noble

Angry BirdsWith GPS, when gamers play Angry Birds Magic in certain locations, “magic happens,” explained Ramine Darabiha, Product Manger for the game at ReadWriteWeb’s 2WAY Summit earlier this month. But not every location will be magic, he said, only those that “make sense” for the brand.

That’s why B&N is the first location to be transformed into a “Magic Place,” as these special locations are called. It can promote Angry Birds both on its Nook Color e-reader and within its store, through merchandise displays.

In order to unlock the free Mighty Eagle character, gamers have to play Angry Birds Magic on the Barnes & Noble Nook Color while visiting one of the company’s 700 bookstores across the U.S. The Nook version of the game is available for $2.99 in the Nook’s app store and can be played over B&N’s free in-store Wi-Fi.

In addition, B&N will capitalize on their new partnership by offering Angry Birds-themed games, toys and other merchandise for sale and will offer free stickers and temporary tattoos to Angry Birds fans who visit the store.

More to Come, via NFC

This is just the first of many partnerships for Rovio. Other rewards will be enabled through the use of NFC, a short-range wireless frequency that enables data transfers over short distances. With NFC, you just tap or wave your phone over a sticker, tag, poster, object in order to enable a connection.

For NFC work, it has to either be built into the phone itself, or added on afterwards, via a case or microSD card. However, for its use with Angry Birds, it’s possible that you could simply place an NFC sticker on your phone to let the “magic” to happen.

Rovio previously said that the NFC features would be limited at first to Nokia’s devices, but would roll out to all other NFC-enabled phones soon. Currently, this is a short list, including Google’s Nexus S, some variants of the Samsung Galaxy S II and the upcoming BlackBerry Bold phones (9900/9930), among others.

About Marty Wetherall