Rovio posted a new blog that says they will announce a brand new Angry Birds game on Monday, July 15th. The teaser image (below) that accompanied the blog post resembles Star Wars Episode 1, the image that shows a young Anakin with the Vader shadow in the background. Rovio also mentioned that the new game will feature the biggest character line-up ever, awesome new powers, and more surprises.
What can we say about Rovio that you didn’t already know? Rovio are the developers of the Angry Birds phenomenon which has translated into a business that reaches well beyond just software into real world goods, movies, and even theme parks. Those damn birds are everywhere. You see them on clothes, toys, shoes, hats, even in TV commercials. The game itself was miraculous in that it hit number one a few months after release and pretty much stayed there for over a year. We took a look back when Angry Birds had been number one for 250 days back in 2011.
With the Angry Birds franchise games now downloaded over 1.7 billion times, it’s all because of a little game launched on the App Store in 2009. Let’s talk with Saara Bergström, VP, Marketing & Communications for Rovio about their history on the App Store.
148Apps: How has the App Store changed the way Rovio does business?
Saara Bergström, VP, Marketing & Communications for Rovio: Angry Birds was Rovio’s first title that was published and marketed directly to the audience. App Store was the obvious way to go about it, which was of course a totally different process from doing business with contractors and operators. App Store was a game changer for the whole mobile industry. App Store made independent publishing mainstream for developers for the first time and apps easily available for consumers. Downloading new software became easy and commonplace.
148Apps: At what point were you sure that the App Store would be a success?
Saara Bergström: A single point is hard if not impossible to pinpoint since there were many contributing factors to it also outside of the App Store. However, it was easy to see the growing popularity of the App Store and how the ecosystem around it started to form very quickly. App Store offered people an easy, one stop shop to get apps, and it levelled the field for independent publishers to get their material out – side-by-side with big publishers. The market has matured from those days and become more professional. The emergence and growth of the whole mobile gaming industry is partly thanks to the ecosystem Apple created with the App Store.
148Apps: What led to Angry Birds being such a success? What made it resonate with users so soundly?
Saara Bergström: The success of Angry Birds is a combination of many factors. First of all, the characters have personality and are immediately recognizable. The whole Rovio team liked them right off the bat. Secondly, from the early days we have had a very fan-focused approach resulting in massively engaged fans which has helped us tremendously to expand our business into other areas outside of games. The third contributing factor is the polished, intuitive gameplay which we achieved through a merciless process of honing and iteration. Finally, the game offers hundreds of hours of fun for a wide demographic.
148Apps: In the five years since launch, the App Store has gone through considerable changes. The number of users has skyrocketed along with downloads, prices for paid apps has stabilized way lower than many expected, free to play has dominated the top grossing charts. If, knowing what you know about the App Store now, you could go back and influence Rovio five years ago, what would you say?
Saara Bergström: I don’t think there’s that much we would change in how we have done our business in the past years. Maybe I would just say: “keep dreaming big!”.
148Apps: Any predictions for what the App Store will be like five years from now?
Saara Bergström: Getting attention was and is of course one of the number one priorities for any developer. When the mobile industry is growing rapidly that challenge prevails. There will probably be new mechanisms and ways for people to find what they are looking for, and for the publishers to reach their target audience and fans.
Rovio Entertainment, creators of Angry Birds, has a new publishing initiative called Rovio Stars that will see its first titles Icebreaker and Tiny Thief released soon. Kalle Kaivola, Senior Vice President of Product & Publishing at Rovio Entertainment, took the time to answer some of my questions about Rovio Stars.
Why launch a publishing initiative? What advantages will Rovio Stars have over other mobile publishers out there?
Expanding into publishing games was a pretty logical step for Rovio Entertainment to take. In the course of our work we run into a lot of interesting, fun and creative game projects – things we know our fans would love. Why not help the developers of these games to give them the final polish, and let our massive, dedicated fan base know of them? Right now it’s a huge challenge to get your game known in the avalanche of games and apps that are flooding the different app stores – it’s not enough to have a good game if you can’t get the word about it out there.
Rovio Entertainment is in an unique position to do exactly that. We communicate with our fan base directly on a daily basis, and they know they can expect quality fun from us. We also have a huge amount of know-how in creating mobile content, and we have a lot to offer to the developers in terms of helping them put the finishing touches to the project. Under Rovio Stars we do a bit more than a traditional publisher does in helping with the game project, things such as lending our expertise in QA and marketing.
When looking for titles to publish, what are you looking for in these games? Rovio has been one of the chief faces of casual gaming–will Rovio Stars largely focus on casual titles as well?
We are looking for games that have engaging gameplay, memorable characters, offbeat humour, and which are fun and addicting to play. The term casual is a bit tricky in the sense that traditionally it has connotations of simplicity and a lack of challenge, but as everybody who has tried to three star their way through Angry Birds games knows, that certainly isn’t true. It’s safe to say that we won’t be publishing FPS shooters or survival horror in the future, so the Rovio Stars games will casual games in the sense of being suitable and fun for all ages, from kids to grandparents.
Why should people ultimately care about the titles that Rovio Stars will be publishing?
The sheer amount of games on the app stores is a challenge not only for the developers, but also for the gamers – how to find the great game amongst the multitudes? This is where Rovio Stars comes in. It’s the stamp of quality that tells the gamer that the game they are about to buy has the same level of polish, engaging gameplay and quality fun as Rovio’s titles.
A new Angry Birds update is on the way as Rovio posted an image on Twitter, teasing a new level pack that will be released soon, reports Pocket Gamer. The tweet reads, “This just in: Red Bird will have a special power soon. #BeakingNews #NewSquawkTimes #DailyQuail” and comes with the following image.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on June 13th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Angry Birds Star Wars enters Cloud City with 20 levels, including all-new flying steam vents. Lando Bird joins the Rebellion against the Pig Empire, giving fans the opportunity play as him and fire his weapon that shoots three lasers at once. Also, get ready to take on the evil Lard Vader in a new boss fight mode.
Now, go return to the city in the clouds and use Lando’s three shot laser to defeat the Pig Empire!
Angry Birds continues to show its brand in new areas, this time as lures and fishing rods thanks to Finnish manufacturer, Rapala. Now, fishermen can use lures like Rattlin’ Red Bird, DT Fat Bomb Bird, and Skitter Pop Bad Pig, while kids can use beginner Angry Birds style fishing poles and float sets, reports TUAW. Currently, the equipment is only available in Finland and Denmark but will hopefully make it to our shores soon.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on May 23rd, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
You can now freely travel into space! For a limited time, the space-themed Angry Birds game can be downloaded for free, reports Touch Arcade. Angry Birds Space has over 160 levels on different planets and in zero gravity, which creates unique gameplay that includes slow-motion puzzles and lightspeed destruction.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on May 16th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
The Abra-Ca-Bacon update is now available for Rovio’sAngry Birds Seasons, bringing portals and 30 new levels of gaming to your devices. Pocket Gamer reports that the levels are carnival themed and feature magic hats and secrets to uncover. There is also a magic box that explodes whenever you hit it, a new power up that’s called AllakaBAM. Now, go fling your birds through portals!
Angry Birds developer, Rovio Entertainment, will begin publishing mobile titles under the name Rovio Stars. In a press release, Rovio’s EVP of Games Jami Laes says “Rovio Entertainment has positioned itself as one of the powerhouses of mobile entertainment, so moving into publishing is a logical step for us at this point”.
Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage will be the first game published by Rovio Stars. Pocket Gamer reports that Icebreaker has players slicing ropes and hacking big blocks of ice to help the Vikings return to their boat. Players will also face enemy trolls and traps throughout 95 levels. Release date has not yet been set, but it’s expected soon.
Birds will fly through portals in the upcoming Angry Birds Seasons update, scheduled to release next week on May 16th. Pocket Gamer reports that the update, named Abra-Ca-Bacon, will feature 30 new levels with an additional 6 stages for players to unlock. The new stages take full advantage of the portals as players will fling their birds into one end and watch them come flying out from another.
Check out the video below to get an idea of just how awesome this could be. Also, bacon.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on May 8th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Bad Piggies receives an update and adds new tools to use in a quest to find chocolate cake. The Rise and Swine update adds new suction-cup tires and spring-loaded boxing gloves that you will use throughout the 15 all-new levels. The update also adds the ability to share replays with Everyplay, an app that allows you to record and share your best clips from over 50 games, including Bad Piggies.
Angry Birds Seasons looks to be visiting the circus in the nearing update, reports Pocket Gamer. An image has released (below) that shows one of the new levels, including piggies dressed up as magicians and clowns.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on March 14th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Rovio’s The Croods is now available and free to play! The creators of Angry Birds teamed up with DreamWorks animation to bring you this new game based on the upcoming motion picture. Players hunt, trap and tame their way through a number of landscapes as they come across never before seen creatures.
● Trap & tame 10 evolutionarily mixed- up creatures! You’ve never seen anything like the Girelephant or Molarbear! Think you can catch them all?
● Create wacky inventions with Grug to open and explore new areas!
● Decorate your pre-historic world with the latest in caveman fashion accessories!
● Meet your favorite characters from the feature animation film from DreamWorks Animation!
Posted by Jeff Scott on March 7th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Angry Birds, the biggest selling game of all time with over 1 billion downloads has gone free on the App Store for the first time. On the off chance that you haven’t bought it yet, grab it now for guaranteed fun. Both the iPhone version and the iPad Version are free for a week week as the App Store App of the Week.
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on January 11th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Angry Birds Space just updated with 30 new levels, all set in a strange water planet galaxy with Bad Piggies in boats. The physics is all watery in these new Angry Birds levels, and there are some new power ups, like Flock of Birds, Space Egg and Pig Puffer.
Make a splash in 30 NEW LEVELS!
Get ready for the ultimate underwater boss level!
Three-star levels for 3 new bonus levels!
Use Flock of Birds for a pack of destruction!
Create black holes with Space Egg!
Expand the pigs with Pig Puffer!
Check back daily for a free power-up!
Power-up specific leaderboards in addition to regular leaderboards!
Posted by Jeff Scott on November 8th, 2012 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
In case you missed it last night, Angry Birds Star Wars (iPhone $0.99), (iPad $2.99) was released at midnight. Carter gave it 4 stars and noted “Angry Birds Star Wars may not come from a galaxy far, far away, but it does add some interesting new variations on the famous gameplay, along with plenty of Star Wars references.”
Rovio has also released this killer cinematic trailer for the game.
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on October 12th, 2012 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Those Bad Piggies are at it again, this time with a pan-load full of delicious egg recipes. It’s like they’re rubbing it in those Angry Birds’ faces. So rude. I bet the Piggies are just laughing.
– 41 delicious egg recipes
– Animated illustrations that brings the birds and pigs to life
– Step-by-step photo instructions
– Funny and surprising photos of the finished recipes (those piggies are at it again!)
– Social media integration and built-in album to share photos of your creations
– Real egg timer built into the app
– Full index for quick and easy access to your favorite recipes
– Easy virtual bookmarks for your favorite recipes
– Option to switch between metric and imperial units
Posted by Jeff Scott on September 27th, 2012 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Can games, like television shows, have spin-offs? I guess so. Bad Piggies from Rovio is now available for both iPhone / iPod touch and iPad. It’s a physics puzzle game, similar to a mash up of Angry Birds and Amazing Alex. We’ll have a full review up soon. Until then, here’s a gameplay preview:
Posted by Jeff Scott on August 23rd, 2012 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Angry Birds Space got a big update today adding a new level, the red planet, to honor the NASA Curiosity rover.
“We’re huge NASA fans, and we were all cheering the Mars Curiosity rover as it touched down,” said Peter Vesterbacka, chief marketing officer of Rovio Entertainment. “So, working together on the Mars update was a perfect fit, especially since we got such an amazing response to our previous collaboration, the ‘Angry Birds Space: NASA announcement’ video, which quickly surged to the top of 2012’s viral video charts. We’re thrilled to continue working with NASA. Stay tuned for even more great fun and educational content coming up.”