Helsinki-based Jaakko Iisalo is the game designer who came up with the original Angry Birds (2009) concept, which has since become one of the world’s most iconic and downloaded mobile game series of all time. The Angry Birds game series has garnered numerous accolades and been downloaded a staggering 4 billion times globally, transforming into a multi-media entertainment brand with toys, apparel, theme parks, animation and movies to name a few.
Iisalo was brought up by the Finnish demo-scene, which he joined in the early 1990s. Originally he aspired to be an artist but as he felt he was not that good at it, he gravitated towards making music and then to programming. He felt the need to create things, and, as he did not get others to participate, learned to do so on his own. He worked on several projects for Housemarque, one of the early game studios in Finland, in the start of 2000s, then studied programming at the University of Helsinki. He worked as a graphic designer at Fonecta, a mobile service provider until in the end of 2004 he got a call from Rovio, which was then making Java games for mainly Nokia phones.