Game maker Rovio today announced a milestone that is incredible no matter how you look at it: Their Angry Birds franchise (which consists of the games Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio) has hit the half a billion downloads mark. This makes Angry Birds the best-selling mobile game in the world and one of the most downloaded titles in the history of gaming.

But an even bigger story is the Angry Birds merchandise. Rovio will open the world’s first official Angry Birds retail shop in Helsinki and they have already shipped more than ten million Angry Birds toys worldwide. We’re also hearing that Rovio will open the official story with Angry Birds merchandise in China, projecting a $100 million revenue in the first year. As if  weren’t enough, Rovio also launched print publishing operations and released their first Angry Birds books.

If you’re into stats, here are some pretty mind-blowing factoids about the Angry Birds phenomenon, right after the break.

• Angry Birds fans around the world have so far played a total of • 200,000 years of Angry Birds • 300 million minutes of playing time daily • more than 266 billion levels of Angry Birds have been played • 400 billion birds launched into action • over 44 billion Stars collected in the process • Angry Birds is the #1 game in 79 countries • Rovio’s YouTube channel has netted over 200 million video views to date

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