Angry Birds, one of the first franchises to find success in mobile gaming, continues to shoot its shot at new life in augmented reality gaming.
After adapting its slingshot gameplay for Magic Leap with Angry Birds FPS: First Person Slingshot and mobile with Isle of Pigs, Rovio Entertainment has pushed its furious feathered friends into the tower defense genre altogether for a web-based AR mini-game.
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Launching as a promotional tie-in with Burger King, the web-based edition of Angry Birds challenges players to defend a virtual nest of eggs from attacking hordes of Hatchlings (who are cannibals, I guess) by tapping their touchscreen and placing self-firing turrets in their physical space.
If you fail to keep the Hatchlings from stealing your eggs, you can activate a power-up, which is triggered by switching to the front-facing camera and opening your mouth, to take them back.
The game is unlocked by scanning QR codes on the packaging of King Jr. meals and signage at participating restaurants, which points to the Angry Birds AR Web app.
"We're thrilled to partner with Zappar and Burger King to create this unique AR experience for Angry Birds fans," said Katri Chacona, director of brand licensing at Rovio Entertainment, in a statement. "The accessibility of WebAR and wide availability across thousands of Burger King restaurants make this an incredible opportunity to connect with consumers in new ways."
AR advertising is still very much in its nascent stages as advertisers experiment with various approaches to see what works. Increasingly, brands have leveraged the AR advertising platforms provided by the likes of Snapchat and Facebook. Others have built native apps running on with ARKit and ARCore for promotional purposes. However, those approaches require consumers to have an app installed, so web-based AR experiences that work via browsers on iOS or Android are finding increased favor among advertisers.
Competing AR platform maker 8th Wall has become somewhat of a juggernaut in the web-based AR advertising space with activations for Sony Pictures, Toyota, Netflix, BMW, and MillerCoors, among others. The rebooted Blippar has also won business in this realm, most recently via Corona. Moreover, Apple and Google have baked web-based AR support into their respective AR toolkits.
Zappar is making a run at this same segment via web-based AR capabilities in its own Zapworks platform after previously landing native app promotions for 7 Eleven, Body Armor, Fox, Wise Snacks, and the NBA's Sacramento Kings. The company already has web-based AR experiences for Puma, Kellogg's, Coca-Cola, and Augmented World Expo, among others, to its credit.
With this latest outing from the Angry Birds franchise, it looks like web-based AR is finally getting the traction it needs to become a permanent staple of the interactive marketing space.