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Angry Birds pecks through half a billion downloads

The infamous irked avians have achieved over half a billion downloads on all platforms, making it the most popular mobile game ever.

The Angry Birds games have reached half a billion total downloads since its original launch in 2009, its developer Rovio proudly boasted today.

The figure -- that's 500,000,000 if you're impressed by zeroes -- includes all games featuring the frustrated fliers: the original Angry Birds game, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio. Across all the many mobile and web platforms it's available on, it makes the series the most popular mobile game of all time.

If that number doesn't mean a whole lot to you on its own, our friends over at GameSpot have some good comparisons for you. Nintendo has sold approximately 260 million games featuring Mario -- possibly the most well known games character of all time -- in the 30 years it's been making them. If we know anything about which number is bigger, we'd say Angry Birds is in the top spot.

It's a huge milestone for both Rovio and the gaming world at large. Smart phone games such as Angry Birds and other CNET UK favourites, like Cut The Rope and Tiny Tower, may not be held in high regard by hardcore gamers -- and cost a fraction as much money -- but when nearly half the people in the UK are carrying around phones capable of playing these games, it's no surprise they're so popular.

It's not just the games pulling the Angry Birds bandwagon though. There are plush toys, board games and even a cookbook (we hear it's all about eggs, but we'd like to see some recipes of how to cook the pigs we've just vanquished). We're such fans of the fluttery little devils we toyed with the idea of rebranding our whole site in their honour.

The Angry Birds train shows no sign of slowing and we're looking forward to the billionth download party they're bound to throw -- judging by the current rate, we expect it to be just in time for Christmas.