July 3, 2012 Update: Rovio announces a new game and, get this, it stars a human and not birds.
May 30, 2012 Update: Angry Birds Space hit 10 million downloads in three days. But as of May 9, Rovio announced that the game has been downloaded over one billion times. There are 7 billion people on Earth. Wow.
March 27, 2012 Update: Last month's boost to the Angry Birds chief marketing officer continues with an impressive number of downloads on Angry Birds Space thismonth: a whopping 10 million after just three days of its launch.
Feb 20, 2012 Update: We were ready to knock Vesterbacka and his team's Angry Birds right off the list. But then they went and announced Angry Birds Space. They may well be surging again and the sign that ABS is coming in March convinces us that his power is ascendant now. He bumps up two spots.
There's no question that Angry Birds is a phenomenon—just check your local bodega or five-and-dime for all the plush bird knock-offs. And it's a fine game that keeps making money for the Finnish mobile developer Rovio, thanks largely to the efforts of chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka, who keeps Angry Birds in the news and negotiates the surprisingly lucrative partnership deals.
Rovio's success is the envy of any developer—over 12 million sold for a game that cost only an estimated €100,000 ($127,000) to develop; they even turned down a multi-billion dollar offer from Zynga.