Angry Birds Nest is 3! The Story Behind One of the Largest Mobile Gaming Communities

Angry Birds Nest 3 Year Anniversary Featured ImageA BIG thanks to @E-Star for the awesome new logo!

It’s hard to believe that Angry Birds Nest has turned three! I wanted to celebrate by sharing a quick story of how ABN came to be, as well as thank those who helped us get here.

The Origins of ABN

It all began around May 2010 with a harmless addiction that my then two-year-old son and I had to — you guessed it — Angry Birds. As we progressed through the game our addiction only increased and we — alright I — set our sights on 3-starring every level and finding all those yummy Golden Eggs. At the time there was really no single source of Angry Birds information and walkthroughs, so to get the help I needed to impress my son I had to bounce all over the web. My goals to begin with were simple: offer a one stop shop of Angry Birds information, guides and walkthroughs.

I could have simply starting building ABN, but I really wanted to go about things the right way, so I sought Rovio’s blessing. I emailed them asking if they would allow me to create a fan site. In the email I included some examples of my past work, a bit about my background, and most importantly, a picture of my son wearing an Angry Birds shirt at Disneyland (marketing at its finest!).

The email address I sent my query to was generic, so I honestly never expected a reply. Fortunately, to my surprise I actually received a nice response from Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio’s CMO and Mighty Eagle (@pvesterbacka). He basically said, “Go for it”. A week or so later I sent him mockups of the first iteration of AngryBirdsNest, and a week or two after that, it was live. The screenshot below is one of the first iterations of ABN.

AngryBirdsNest July 2010We’ve come along way!

Now a Thriving Community

In the three years since we first launched we’ve obviously grown quite a bit. While we are still a site of fans — and always will be — we are most definitely a full-fledged community (and one of the largest gaming communities on the web). We now cover all of Rovio’s games and offer a lot of really cool features, including: leaderboards, challenges, ranking, badges, and so on. We are a true interactive gaming community.

A Heartfelt Thanks

Before I go on I want to take a moment to thank all of you. Quite often we thank Rovio for all the support they’ve shown us over the years, but it’s rare for us to thank the entire community. That’s actually sort of odd, because without all of you the site would be rather boring. In addition, I also want to thank our loyal admins and moderators who have stuck with us through thick and thin. Each admin has a fun bio on our team page, but let’s call them out in order of appearance.

@fujitoast – Perfectly toasted
@amslimfordy – Genius™
@sal9 – l33t to the max
@E-Star – Flinging Goddess

Thanks to you all! Thanks to all you loyal flingers! And thanks again to Rovio.

Q&A

With the story now told I thought it would be fun to finish off this article with a short Q&A between myself and my alter ego @birdleader (BL).

BL: How did you first come across Angry Birds? How much do you/did you play it?

Simple. One day I was browsing the Apple App Store looking for some family-friendly games that my son and I could play together. I noticed this silly looking icon with a bird on it and thought I’d give it a go. We loved the gameplay and fell in love with the characters. Angry Birds was a game my two year old son could play easily on his own, but also had a level of difficulty that I enjoyed. The Golden Eggs were also an ingenious touch, as they added an additional layer of depth that required the player to actively seek answers. This increased engagement and when found offered a satisfying reward. Now my 3-year old daughter is playing the game, so you know Angry Birds is truely something unique.

BL: For all the top players on ABN, do you notice any common trends? gender, age, location? Or are they from all walks of life and interests?

You would think so, but Angry Birds really transcends generations and borders. Some of our most dedicated players are a bit older and have established careers: doctors, lawyers, you name it. That is not to say we don’t see a ton of amazing players who are a younger. We do! All of us share a common bond and it shows on The Nest. Our moderators work very hard to maintain a family-friendly site that is open to people of all ages and backgrounds. We also strive to keep the site accessible to both seasoned Angry Birds players and newcomers alike.

BL: How do you ensure real scores on ABN, where Game Center is so full of cheats?

At the time of writing we have about 2.2 million scores entered on Angry Birds Nest — all of which were entered by hand. The power of our site is we have the ability to build in many checks and balances that more automated leaderboard systems can’t. Users also have the ability to flag scores that looks suspicious. The power of community enforcement can’t be underestimated. It doesn’t hurt that many of the best players from around the world frequent Angry Birds Nest and have their scores entered. This allows us to set benchmarks and more easily compare scores across individual levels. No system is perfect, but we work very hard to keep a level playing field.

Takin’ it Back to the Old School

Below is an interview with Peter Vesterbacka from way back in August 2010. It’s a long interview, but it’s a neat retrospective on how far things have come. He talks about the Mighty Eagle, IAPs, Mario, toys, and much more.

Tags: Anniversary
Category: Angry Birds News & Updates, Blog, News

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Comments (91)

Rank: Fling King with 4820 points
By Harrystar6 (@harrystar6)

Happy Birthday ABN!, thanks to the @admins for all the awesome walkthroughs and great work at keeping the nest up to date :)

Profile photo of sal9Rank: Avian Overlord with 17295 points
By sal9 (@sal9)

Happy BirdDay AbN! Proud to have been part of this community since the early days.

Profile photo of dmsralRank: Gold Flinger with 8410 points
By dmsral (@dmsral)

Happy Birthday to ABN and to all those who run it! Who’d have thought a community like this would have developed from a 99¢ phone game.

Profile photo of dbkraemerRank: Master Slinger with 7100 points
By dbkraemer (@dbkraemer)

Happy Birthday ABN. Thanks for such a fantastic site and community! This is the only website I go to 20+ times per day :) Thanks for making Rovio’s games much more fun and challenging! And thanks to all of the admins and members who have given great strategies for conquering those almost impossible levels :)

Profile photo of sammybirdsRank: Shooter with 910 points
By sammybirds (@angrysam)

happy birday have a good one

Profile photo of PKRank: Fling King with 4475 points
By PK (@pokemonguy93)

Happy Birthday, ABN! Keep the good work going!

Profile photo of BBinMiamiRank: Master Slinger with 5890 points
By BBinMiami (@bbinmiami)

Happy B-Day ABN! If I had a nickel for every other Angry Birds fan site who dreams of being as awesome as you are… I’d have… a lot of nickels!!!

Profile photo of BeakinsRank: Fling King with 4260 points
By Beakins (@beakins)

Happy Birdday ABN :D!

Rank: Gold Flinger with 9175 points
By sunshine (@sunshine)

Image

Happy Birthday ABN!!!! Cheers to each and everyone!!!!!!! Who would have thought a game AB would have brought so many special friends into my life! Thanks! :D

Profile photo of Birds!Rank: Champion with 3735 points
By Birds! (@theog)

Happy Birdday ABN! Where’s the cake? :P

Profile photo of rodrigolRank: Out of this World with 2730 points
By rodrigol (@birdron)

Happy Birthday ABN, or would be BIRDAY! Thanks for all the help you guys have given me. You are amazing! :)

Profile photo of thee-michelleRank: Pig Leader with 12345 points
By thee-michelle (@thee-michelle)

Happy Birthday ABN!
Be a pleasant nest from now on!

Profile photo of lostgreybirdRank: Fling King with 4400 points
By lostgreybird (@lostgreybird)

Happy bday

Profile photo of BurbmanRank: Gold Flinger with 8730 points
By Burbman (@burbman)

Happy Birdday to the Nest!!

Rank: Pig Leader with 11375 points
By justpast40 (@justpast40)

Happy Birthday ABN and wishing a continually growing site for players from all over the world to have a “meet & greet” about a shared hobby.. Oh & I’ll add today is my 13 yr wedding anniversary :-)

Rank: Gold Flinger with 8670 points
By PJng (@pjng)

Happy, bday!!! ABN.

Other thing is ‘gone’ except that yellow navi bar still here.

Profile photo of TomPussRank: Master Slinger with 6685 points
By TomPuss (@annie-leigh)

Happy 3rd Birdday to the Nest! And a big thank you to Bird Leader and the awesome foursome for all their brilliantl work!

Profile photo of kathi17Rank: Master Slinger with 7255 points
By kathi17 (@kathi17)

Congratulations on your third birthday ABN! And a big thank for all the work you do to make this a wonderful site! A big thank you to the other fans too, for making it a very friendly and fun place to meet. :-)

By Morph416

Congrats!!

And thanks for all the hard work, from everyone at the site, and the community for putting up as much info any AB flinger could want!

:)

Profile photo of OobgularRank: Champion with 3725 points
By Oobgular (@oobgular17)

Happy Birdday! Thanks for all your hard work!

Profile photo of wrw01Rank: Sling God with 22150 points
By wrw01 (@wrw01)

Happy Birdday to the ABN!
Congrats to the ABN’s staff and thank you for a job well done.
Last but not least, thank you to all the ABN members who posted helpful strategies, tips, techniques, videos, and advice to make us all better flingers. You generosity in the spirit of sharing says more than words can describe.

Rank: Master Slinger with 5940 points
By sandjoy (@sandjoy)

Happy Birthday, ABN! It is an awesome website. But most of all, it’s so much fun. The atmosphere is positive and helpful. Congratulations!

Rank: Fling King with 4790 points
By 78RPM (@78rpm)

Happy birthday ABN! Thanks for all the tips, tricks, news, resources and general info. That’s all very much appreciated. And also thanks for providing all of us in general with a conduit to and from Rovio. They’ve got a company to run, but I feel you provide us a voice when we all get riled up about something (or really like something).
But most of all thanks for keeping the sense of community going. Most sites like this seem to eventually get taken over by the people with the biggest axes to grind. You folks are absolutely the best at keeping that to a minimum and keeping the sense of fun in the forefront.
Dang that’s rare and I appreciate it.

Rank: Champion with 3970 points
By iBird (@ibird)

HaPPY BiRDaY AngryBirdsNest !!
Thanks for all the walkthroughs, News & updates alerts. Congrats to the staff :)

Rank: Gold Flinger with 8360 points
By Kartflyer (@kartflyer)

A big Happy Birdday to ABN!!! Turns out getting stuck on that one AB level was actually an good thing! The Nest has come a long way, and lots of fun, teamwork and friendships have been developed within the members over the years and I’m insanely glad to have been part of it!

Congratulations to everyone, especially the admins, who have made this community what it is today! Cheers!!!

Rank: Champion with 3485 points
By spoonmon (@spoonmon)

Happy Birthday ABN!! Thanks for fueling my addiction! Keep up the great work creators and community members!

Rank: Gold Flinger with 7530 points
By Chicadee (@chicadee)

Congrats on 3 years of invaluable support for us obsessed Angry Birds flingers. At around the 23.50 mark in the podcast, Peter mentions ABN as being better than Rovio’s own site. I couldn’t agree more. When I started playing AB I needed help and this site was by far the best back then and of course still is. Thank you @birdleader and all your crew. :)

Profile photo of PurplepawsRank: Champion with 3600 points
By Purplepaws (@purplepaws)

If it hadn’t been for this community, I would have lost interest in the game long ago. Now I play it almost every day! You’ve added such a wonderful dimension to it that keeps me coming back for more. Happy birthday, ABN!

Profile photo of facundoRank: Slinger with 1125 points
By facundo (@david1001)

happy b-day ABN!!!

Rank: Champion with 3790 points
By JunkenMetel (@junkenmetel)

Great story @birdleader! Many, many thanks to you and all the folks who work so hard behind the scenes to give us all such a wonderful place to call home. ABN is indeed an amazing community, and you should be truly proud of having created a way for people all over the world, and from all kinds of backgrounds, to connect with each other. We all share a love of Angry Birds, but so many of us have connected as friends as well. I happen to think that helps make the world a better place.

Happy Birdday, and best wishes for many more.

Profile photo of Sir FalconRank: Explosive with 2185 points
By Sir Falcon (@flying-falcon)

i agree too. this website is one of the best when it comes to AB walkthroughs

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