Did North Korea pirate Angry Birds?

130701-app-angrybirdsOne of the surprises in North Korea’s recently-launched Samjiyon (???) tablet was the inclusion of Angry Birds, the globally-popular game that involves shooting animated birds to destroy structures and animated pigs.

In July, when I was reviewing the Samjiyon, I contacted game-maker Rovio to ask about its inclusion in the device. Despite several attempts to get comment, the company never replied.

Last week, The Washington Post managed to have a bit more luck.

A spokesman for the developer said via e-mail: “Angry Birds Rio has not been localized into Korean, and Rovio Entertainment has no affiliation with the version of the game being shown on the Samjiyon tablet.” — Washington Post, November 6, 2013.

So, it seems that the version on the Samjiyon, which is in Korean, is an unofficial version of the game.

If so, it was likely reprogrammed by the Korea Computer Center, the Pyongyang-based computer software development center and the organization that produces the Samjiyon.

The tablet is largely a software effort. The hardware comes from vendors in China and the Korea Computer Center localizes the Android operating system and develops local applications.

Angry Birds Rio

Angry Birds Rio

1 Comment on "Did North Korea pirate Angry Birds?"

  1. Those behind the Angry Birds North Korean version apparently changed only the text and graphics.

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